Guest Poem by Barbara Cumbers

Barbara Cumbers lives in London. Now retired, she earned her living as an information officer in the NHS and as a part-time lecturer in geology. She has had poems published in various magazines and small press anthologies. Her first collection, A gap in the rain, was published by Indigo Dreams in 2016. In November 2017 she had a month’s residency in Scalloway, Shetland. Her latest collection In the simmer dim is a result of that residency, and of several visits to the islands as a geologist.

Of all the stars, the loveliest …

Sappho: Fragments on love and desire

… are the Pleiades

for they are blue like the sparkles of ice
in the coldness of air

for they cluster like buds of angelica

for the glow that surrounds them
is the birthplace of stars

for they shepherd the newly born

for they are uncountable

yet they lead us to try
and to see what may or may not be there

and seeing it
know that distance can be crossed

that light can come from void
to reach our eyes

and shine