May 29, 2017



after reading “Fugue for Other Hands” by Joseph Fasano

In your next life you will be
birthed in needles
of hoarfrost, your eyes still
in the blue gauze between

this world and the next
and I will kneel so close
you will smell the hot iron
waiting to singe

your skin. You’ll hear
the crackle of the flame
and your throat will prickle
with stars. I’ll wrap your shins

in nettle and this shelter will fall
deeply into zero. This is the start
of your suffering for the children,
yours who became

the wanderers, beaten between
the withers, broken and unridable
in the world’s dark loam. There is
no animal to save you now

no purling stream to fold
shame into, not even the jackdaw
as witness, or a single crofter
awake in this cat’s eye hour.

Revenge tries on its black
bridle then drapes it over
the swinging fence.
Father, I will not take out

your eyes but I will brand you
with the word you fear
and you will wear it
and you will wear it

and give up everything to winter.


“Foal” © Lois P Jones


Lois P. Jones is the winner of the 2017 Bristol Poetry Prize. She’ll be reading with the competition’s judge, Liz Berry, in October 2017 in Bristol, England.

Liz Berry: From the moment I read this dark, extraordinary poem it haunted me. It’s mysterious, unsettling, blends the mythic with the real and is just so beautifully written. It’s full of emotional charge and is taut with intensity and violence. And that ending, oh my goodness that ending!


Lois P. Jones; photo by Susan Rogers.


Lois P. Jones is the recipient of the Bristol Poetry Prize, the Tiferet Poetry Prize, and the Liakoura Prize. Her work has been published in anthologies including The Poet’s Quest for God (Eyewear Publishing), Wide Awake: Poetry of Los Angeles and Beyond (The Pacific Coast Poetry Series), 30 Days (Tupelo Press), and Good-Bye Mexico (Texas Review Press), and many journals including Narrative, American Poetry Journal, Tupelo Quarterly, The Warwick Review, Cider Press Review, and others. Lois was shortlisted for the 2016 Bridport Prize in poetry and longlisted for The Poetry Society’s 2015 and 2016 competitions. She is Poetry Editor of Kyoto Journal, host of KPFK’s Poets Café (Pacifica Radio), and co-hosts Moonday Poetry.






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