Joy Howard

Morecambe Bay, January
(for Barbara, in memoriam)

Talking to myself    muttering
myself up stairs and down
glancing at the empty chair
across the dinner table    smiling
in a sideways manner

Old    alone    remembering
this trip we did not take
for unremembered reasons
and now can never

So you’re not here to see the torrid
winter sun’s majestic couchée    lackeyed
by the polished mirror of a metal sea
the following dark of cold sky
strangely starless

I kiss the air
the space where you once were

Joy Howard runs Grey Hen Press, and edits and publishes anthologies featuring poetry by older women. These have proved popular both with contributors and poetry lovers, and with frequent readings taking place across the UK, there has been much fun and camaraderie involved. She also runs an annual poetry competition for women over 60.

Joy has been writing poetry for over 30 years (with a few gaps!)

Magazine publications include: Sofia, Sphinx, ARTEMIS poetry, and The Interpreter’s House.

Online at: Guardian Poetry Workshop, poetry p f, and Lavender Review.

Anthologies: most recent The Listening Shell (Headland Publications 2010).

Single collections: Exit Moonshine (Grey Hen Press 2009) and Refurbishment (Ward Wood 2011)

Grey Hen Anthologies: A Twist of Malice ; uncomfortable poems by older women (2008); Cracking On: poems on ageing by older women (2009); No Space But Their Own: new poems about birds (2010) ; Get Me Out of Here!: poems for trying circumstances (2011)