Page 1

Issue 1

Domestic Cherry




Domestic Cherry In memory of free woman and poet Anna Wickham



Issue 1 a 27 page sample of the full 70 page annual to be published in Spring and launched at 5:30 am 2nd May on the first day of The Swindon Festival of Literature 2011.



Domestic cherry is the name that many gardeners give to the Prunus avium, also known as Sweet cherry tree. In a recent study, sweet cherries were characterized by two dominant phenolic compounds, caffeoyltartaric acid and 3’-p-coumaroylquinic acid, which are recognised to have anti-carcinogenic properties. This is pure poetry and a reason for me to become involved with The Domestic Cherry magazine. Like the Prunus avium, the publication is promising to be full of lively wise sap, grow vigorously, claim its own space, and produce fruit of intense complex flavour. It may be the case that before you get to the fruit the birds would have had it. But even in that case, you will have to admit, it is hardly wasted. Cristina Navazo-Eguía Newton

Paper cut out cherry tree Cristina Navazo-Eguía Newton


Domestic Cherry c/o Mrs. Watson Lower Shaw Farm
 Old Shaw Lane, Shaw 
 Swindon, Wiltshire SN5 5PJ
 Contact by email: domesticcherry@rocket.com

Copyright remains with the individual authors and artists in this edition 2011 ISBN: 978-1-4467-2746-1

Supported by:

Mabel Watson is the alter ego of Hilda Sheehan


Contents 10 About Domestic Cherry and submission guidelines Image Jill Carter 11 The Watson Sisters in Camper Van Poetry Mabel Watson 12 Domestic Cherry Image: Page 13 Paper cut out ‘Cherry Tree in Summer’ Cristina Navazo-Eguía Newton Poetry Anna Wickham 14 Meditation at Kew Myra Schneider 15 Forest Lesley Saunders 16 Harvest Supper Cristina Navazo-Eguia Newton 17 Literal Translation Tatjana Debeljački 18 Japan u Aprilu/Japan in April Hilda Sheehan 19 Beautiful is told a thing or two Claire Dyer 20 Burning the war Heather O’Neill 21 A Housewife’s Meditation Blog Jill Carter 22 We all want to be someone different Image: Page 23, Drawing 1, ‘Dreams & Wishes’ Jill Carter Playlet Mabel Watson 24 The Rise of Domestic Cherry 26 Letters 27 List of contributors


About Domestic Cherry Domestic Cherry is a new annual that will be published each May as part of the Swindon Festival of Literature and welcomes submissions of previously unpublished poetry, flash fiction and playlets by women writers. Also, black and white ink/crayon/charcoal drawings with a touch of red to celebrate cherriness. The editor Mrs. Watson enjoys being astonished and marvels at women who can be creative while scrambling over their kids or gasping from the bottom of a washing basket! She also marvels at women who write with vibrancy, energy and originality. Mrs. Watson also believes that more fun needs to be had in the publishing business, so feel free to be playful, happy, edgy, experimental as well as dark and thick as treacle (Mrs. Watson loves treacle). What else needs to be said? Mrs. Watson needs your wisdom, because at times she doubts her own, like lots of women numbed by too much to do. If you have anything inspirational to add to her submission guidelines then please do share. Mrs. Watson likes to celebrate sharing! Submission Details Please send to domesticcherry@rocketmail.com: Poetry - of any length sent in the body of an email Flash Fiction - up to 1000 words sent in the body of an email Playlets - one side of A4 in one act sent in the body of an email Black and white line drawings - sent as good quality scanned in Jpeg attachments. The deadline for issue 1, 70 pages of online and hardcopy writing by women, will be March 31st 2011, launched at the Swindon Festival of Literature, May 2011.


Domestic Cherry is an annual inspired by ‘The Travelling Museum of Possibilities’ Jill Carter, September 2010

The Watson Sisters in Camper Van, Jill Carter, 2010


Domestic Cherry how vertical the cherry ever domestic and ripe rises for picker bursts for picker hangs up high and different frequently cherry frequently picker cherry movement domestic and easy iron on red placed with cherry part picker part boom! on bite of cherry most vertical for place let me hang in the ordinary world dullness swallow a red swallow a sweet you hate the syntax of my fall cart safely the cherry in his type of diesel to carry a cherry careful and quiet while lipstick bleeds all cherries home by nightfall so sit in their bowls or bottled these types thissle these types sonic either control our cherry inside sounds so woman sonic so domestic stuff unwanted landscape distant cherry in the wind this cherry scenario is only one type domestic cherry’s out the box

Mabel Watson


Paper cut out cherry tree in summer Cristina Navazo-EguĂ­a Newton


Meditation at Kew Alas! for all the pretty women who marry dull men, Go into the suburbs and never come out again, Who lose their pretty faces and dim their pretty eyes, Because no one has skill or courage to organise. What do these pretty women suffer when they marry? They bear a boy who is like Uncle Harry, A girl who is like Aunt Eliza, and not new, These old dull races must breed true. I would enclose a common in the sun, And let the young wives out to laugh and run; I would steal their dull clothes and go away, And leave the pretty naked things to play. Then I would make a contract with hard Fate That they see all the gay men in the world and choose a mate, And I would summon all the pipers in the town That they dance with Love at a feast, and dance him down. From the gay unions of choice We’d have a race of splendid beauty and of thrilling voice. The world whips frank, gay love with rods, But frankly, gaily shall we get the gods.

Anna Wickham 1884 - 1947


Forest The held-out arms of oaks promise quietness but I can hear lorries rattling their bones, kids shrieking at the bottom of a garden too near this wood. I walk fast and at last silence is let loose. Its leafiness cleans my lungs and I trudge soft red layers unthinking of decay until the trees close ranks and I peer through firs whose low branches are mean wires into a darkness thick as serge. Ambivalence creeps in – no birds sing here, no flowers bloom in the straggles of grass between the bramble loops lying in wait and the silence is so dense now it’s a burden. Among the witchy trees I glimpse eyes glittering with threat – deer, wild cat, devil? The truth is this forest of fears can never be undone and although I don’t trust the path I start to run, straining to hear human sounds, run until breath scrapes against my throat and my alarmed heart drums in my ears, run until I see a solid man sitting on a log eating sandwiches. ‘Lovely day for it,’ he says. ‘Lovely,’ I echo, and not far away I hear car swish lovely as a rushing stream, as music.

Myra Schneider


Harvest Supper Moments before the first knock at the door and the moon looking in through the window, I’ve forgotten who was invited. Apples ripen and soften in candlelight, their seeds swelling a little and a little in their star chambers. The garden is asking to be let in, wants to know if I’ve laid the table with the old silver. Six chairs are standing round with their arms open. I turn up the flame and wait.

Lesley Saunders


Literal Translation Never had the. My ungoing blistered in the burn of yet. What-some had often this close and the closer was the more other than, the more not really the, the more not quite. Each time expected having just that if, then the. But. Yes, some, like. Yes, at times, a while, a certain or. Still, how season, and inasmuch again, less mean, less waterfall, less. Bees, without. Also might a variation of another not-have. Unrepairedness, unrepairingness, wholefailtility, brokenhood. Not whether, not whether, but how. Who does, if at all, if any ever. Is it truly thus? Thus really so like? Is this it? Should then no more for? But why then still out to, up to. Where, when, if.

Cristina Navazo-EguĂ­a Newton


Japan u Aprilu Istinski silna, neoprezna ponekad, Žudim nema i daleka! Obnažena, ispunjena savršenstvom, Pohađam uživanja!!! Gde ima poverenja ima i radosti. Nikad nije slikao moju strast, Snove od boje do reči, Bez neizvesnosti i jeze. Trenutak svetlosti me pogođa. Utiskuje japanski zrak na lice. April lagano izliva boje, Nad udvojenim senama što plešu.

Japan in April Truly stunning, sometimes careless, I crave silently and far away! Naked, filled up with perfection, I am attending enjoyment!!! Where there is trust there is always glee. He never painted my passion, Dreams from the color to the word, Without suspense and shivers. The moment of light strikes me. Pressing Japanese air onto my face April is slowly spilling its colors, above duplicate shadows dancing away. Tatjana Debeljački Written in Serbian and translated into English by Tatjana Debeljački


beautiful is told a thing or two 1. beautiful I’ll wait for you until the clock strikes beautiful at midnight and one 2. beautiful all we want is jewel lipped laughter glossed away why wasn't your father told 3. beautiful I want to lay beside you take my small tongs curl your hair to swans 4. beautiful something tells me the gate was locked behind you forever lights left singing 5. beautiful I'll buy your children things of gold shops dug up treasure why not take them 6. beautiful we must make a cloud burst make a river make a whole mountain climb up between 7. beautiful I will alter you up like a god like sweet things gifted dressed to stop the world beautiful 8. beautiful Pete told you I told you each day will always be a beautiful place to picnic in your perfume 9. beautiful I will hang you up above a shelf of things that describe your face my wall loves you too 10. beautiful if you go down the shops the ugly might buy you with biscuits a paper and a coffee

Hilda Sheehan


Burning the war for Dad

I am eight. It is November. There are three feet of safety between me and the flames and the air is brittle with heat. We’re at the end of the garden under a rib of trees, and he’s wearing trousers the colour of fudge, a wax jacket which tinsels when he walks. We’re burning the war, his father’s death, the man he used to be. My face is hot, frost stabs the back of my knees, leaves curl, twigs snap; there is percussion here, and melody. This is when he can see through walls, and skin and bone, can hold a star in the palm of his hand, knows everything there is to know. He smiles, adds wood. The smoke thickens, rises, hides him.

Claire Dyer


A Housewife’s Meditation His pants, my knickers, paired, pegged hang damp, unripe. Sadsacks along the line. The prayer spreads away away – fill with air, folded hearts! ‘Come back’ caught in my juju cloth: his pants, my knickers. Paired, pegged each bead adds weight to the last I sow certitude, to harvest along the line. The prayer spreads dancing. Frankenstein, fluffed live awake and pulling shapes, swell-full his pants, my knickers, paired, pegged magnet realign our filaments: our wills. Cause moving, mirroring. Along the line the prayer spreads out my mind to ride your voice together a storm of murmuring noise: his pants, my knickers, paired, pegged along the line the prayer spreads. Heather O’Neill


We all want to be something different 13/Jan/11 09:11 Talked to Ali today, mum of the friend of the mysterious girl. She was delighted to know that portrait images of the community were to be in an exhibition at the Royal West of England Academy. I told her I was hugely excited and that the first person I shared the news with of the exhibition Dreams, Masks & Mirrors was Lennie, my window cleaner. I’m coming, he said, I’ve never been anywhere royal. Whilst there was something burning under the grill, we discussed on the phone the desire to be 'Other'...Well, we all want to be someone different - don't we said the Mum of the best friend of the mysterious little girl, who had appeared as though from nowhere, dressed in a different outfit over ten times. I explained the photographs taken during the ten day art/works festival was to explore the theme of a contemporary take on fairytale & myth. Isobel loved the Travelling Museum of Possibilities, she still talks about it...told her Nan on Christmas Day all about what took place, dressing up, in the media bus. She wore her Travelling Museum badge on her Christmas dress. ‘I dream of being on the Front Row, she’d said.

Jill Carter


Drawing 1, Dreams & Wishes Jill Carter www.jillcarterartworks.com


The Rise of Domestic Cherry – a Playlet Monday evening, Mabel is loading the twin tub and the phone rings. It is Geraldine. Mabel: Mrs.Watson speaking. Geraldine: Mabel! Mabel: Yes, speaking. Geraldine: Mabel, I've just been reading that magazine you talked about at last week’s knitting group. You said you didn't think much of it and, having read it, I agree. Mabel: Well yes, it's all a bit dull. I had to keep putting it down, clean another window then struggle through another poem. Not a good sign. Geraldine: I'm much less impressed than I was with issue 35 (the first one I've subscribed to). What struck me this time is just how many of the poems are by men - so I counted, and then counted in issue 36, which is also unbalanced but it's not quite so obvious. Mabel: That's terrible. Poor Ursula has been rejected by them no less than seven times and she's a master of haiku! Geraldine: I've also just subscribed to Brittle Star - which has poetry and short fiction, which also has a male/female ratio of 11:7. Can't draw conclusions from one issue, of course. Mabel: No, quick conclusions are never good. Geraldine: Do you think this is common in small poetry mags? There are, now, short story mags that are only open to women, in an effort to combat undercurrent sexism in fiction. Is it just as bad in poetry - or is there a women-only poetry mag somewhere? Mabel: What’s needed is a totally fabulous magazine full of brilliant work by women. An annual perhaps, nicely retro. Geraldine: Yes! it makes life even more difficult if we are disadvantaged by our gender before we even pick up a pen! (Or maybe this is just a gap in the market?)


Mabel: Gap in market. Certainly, there's a lack of fun as well as a lack of writing by amazing women. But how about Myslexia. That's a lovely one. Geraldine: I've subscribed to MsLexia for a couple of years now, and think it's wonderful - but it's a drop in the ocean compared with the need, and the standard is so high that's it feels almost impossible to get published there (although I sent them 4 poems on the Departures theme in the summer and they haven't come back yet, so maybe they are shortlisted, and I did have a story shortlisted once!) Mabel: Hmmm. You know it brings me back to a comment made by the totally lovely poet Ros Barber. She said, 'Mabel, your poems are full of strength and originality but male editors may dislike the domestic theme.' Geraldine: Goodness Mabel. Something needs to be done! A poetry magazine for women - along the lines of The Yellow Room, which is short stories written by women, would be wonderful. We can dream! Mabel: Let's do more than dream. Let's do it! Let’s have our own magazine, call it 'the domestic cherry' or something like that. A vibrant source of writing by women of any age, any culture, any background. Geraldine: It's a great idea. Not sure I know enough about poetry? Can I really edit short fiction when I've had so little published myself? All the usual doubts you'd expect from any woman brought up in the 50s in a household full of men. Mabel: Darling, we can do it. We know what's what; my bedside is a mountain of poems. I know what moves me and that's a great place to start. Away with the ‘Kingdom of Dullness!’ A magazine to cause a gasp in the poetry world. Geraldine: Are you serious Mabel? Mabel: I'm VERY serious Geraldine Watson. Sisters in domestic dirty washing poetry crime: bring your dirty washing here, Objectivists at large! We want sincerity and freshness more than anything; a feather duster on the art world! Now must get back to the spinner…


Letters Dear Mrs. Watson May I call you Mabel? Indeed, you are right. In fact, it goes without saying: the female writing voice is a great one, as great as any, provided the person behind it takes writing seriously, knows how to be free and disciplined at the same time, and also knows how to laugh. For these, and many more reasons, I certainly do ‘enjoy, encourage, and celebrate’ such voices in the Literature-related events that I seek to put on. As to your new magazine, I think it an idea whose time has come, whose cherry is ripe, and promises fruitfulness to follow. Since you say you like sharing Mrs. W and welcome comments, I would be very pleased to go through the DOMESTIC CHERRY (brilliant name!) submission guidelines with you but best by phone, because just now, on this cold wet night at Lower Shaw Farm, I am off to put another log on the fire and run a reading group. (Maybe your mag could also have a ‘Recommended Reading’ section, because I believe that you believe that a belief in reading is a necessary belief for writers who believe that, through a belief in the value of reading the work of other good writers, their own writing can improve, to unbelievable levels of beauty, sense, and completeness.) Must go. My children may be grown up but my books are still babies that need a gentle hand and careful preparation before they can be presented to the doubting world. All power to your elbow dear Mabel. Matt Holland Director, SWINDON FESTIVAL OF LITERATURE Lower Shaw Farm Shaw Swindon Wiltshire SN5 5PJ matt@lowershawfarm.co.uk www.swindonfestivalofliterature.co.uk


List of contributors Myra Schneider’s tenth collection of poetry, ‘Circling The Core’, was published by Enitharmon in 2008. She also writes fiction for children and personal writing. These include ‘Writing My Way Through Cancer ‘(Jessica Kingsley 2003). Most recently ‘Writing Your Self’ (with John Killick) published by Continuum International at the end of 2009. s www.esch.dircon.co.uk Lesley Saunders’ poems have been widely published, including in the London Review of Books, Magma and the Rialto. Her books include a co-authored volume with Jane Draycott and artist Peter Hay, ‘Christina the Astonishing’ (Two Rivers Press, 1998); ‘Her Leafy Eye,’ collaboration with the artist Geoff Carr (Two Rivers Press, 2009); ‘No Doves’ (Mulfran Press 2010); and most recently ‘Some Languages Are Hard to Dream In’, a pamphlet with images by Christopher Hedley-Dent (Mulfran Press 2010). Cristina Navazo-Eguía Newton published poetry in Spanish in two collections and five anthologies before moving to Swindon, where she is involved in education, wildlife projects, flamenco singing and raising her children. Some of her English poems have appeared in journals and become finalists at Bridport, Gregory O’Donoghue, Strokestown and Aesthetica. Hilda Sheehan lives in Swindon with her five children and has had poems published by Rialto, Poetry Society Website, BBC Website, South and The New Writer. Hilda is the MC of the popular BlueGate Poets’ Open Mic Nights, an assistant to the Swindon Artswords Literature Development Worker and chair of BlueGate Poets: www.blueghatepoets.com Tatjana Debeljački was born in 1967 in Užice and is a member of the Association of Writers of Serbia UKS since 2004 and the Haiku Society of Serbia. She has published three collections of poetry, ‘A House Made of Glass,’ published by ART – Užice; ‘Yours,’ published by Nrodna Knjigna, and ‘Vulcano’ by Haiku Lotos, Valjevo. "AH-EH-EEH-OH-OOH" published by Poeta Belgrade in 2008. www.poetabg.com Claire Dyer writes women’s fiction and poetry and works very part-time for an HR research forum in London. She is widely published and is a member of the Brickwork Poets, a group who perform conversations in poetry on set themes at venues around the UK. www.brickworkpoets.co.uk Heather O’Neill was one of last year’s winners of the Battered Moons Competition. She has worked, among other things, as a secondary school teacher and a 70’s disco wedding singer. Currently she is raising two small boys and has only been writing a short time. Jill Carter, MFA is a visual artist, facilitator & educator: delivering social engagement projects, performative interventions, workshops & photographic exhibitions. Jill engages with people through light-hearted playfulness and sensitivity, bridging artistic, social & therapeutic values. Inspiring others to share stories & hopes, exploring the space between the real and imaginary, playful and poetic.



Profile for Mabel Watson

Domestic Cherry 1 a sample  

Domestic Cherry is a new annual that will be published each May as part of the Swindon Festival of Literature and welcomes submissions of pr...

Domestic Cherry 1 a sample  

Domestic Cherry is a new annual that will be published each May as part of the Swindon Festival of Literature and welcomes submissions of pr...

Profile for mrswatson

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded