Star Poets | Annie Wright

7 March 2021

ANNIE WRIGHT's second full collection, Dangerous Pursuit of Yellow, was published in 2019 (Smokestack Books). Annie runs poetry workshops in Moniaive and set up The Lit Room Press in 2018. Part of The Bakehouse team, she helps manage online events and the Big Lit Festival in Gatehouse. Recent poems have appeared in Dreich, Artemis, The Poet Magazine, Ink, Sweat and Tears, and on the Poetry Society's website.

While stars are often seen as augurs of hope and beauty, comets are seen as warnings, prophecies of danger and doom. "There are comets/that laugh at us/from behind our teeth/wearing the clothes/of fish and bird." (Richard Brautigan)

Here Annie uses the night sky in general and a comet in particular to reinforce a keen sense of tension and personal danger.

The Night is Holding its Breath
by Annie Wright

I gaze into the pond, wander over the grass
to the apple tree, before I realise I’ve not breathed. 
I let it out, a telltale trail on chill air,
afraid it might be discovered, bagged,
assigned a code and used in evidence.
Trying to be normal, not to arouse suspicion,
I am eaten up with fear. I lean against
the firm back of the apple tree. It upholds me,
lightly easily, unjudgingly. It does not harm
or bully me, blackmail or provoke. It does not 
resent me, hate me or condemn. 
It demands nothing from me, although it could,
as I stand here looking for stars, taking its support.
Through its upthrust arms I saw the comet 
heard the urgent message to flee.
I have climbed, hugged and harvested this tree.
Now your new leaves tremble as I say goodbye; 
tomorrow, when I’ve run, it’s you I’m going to miss.

© Annie Wright, March 2021

A poem and further information:
Diamond Twig poem of the month: 'Dangerous Pursuit of Yellow' by Annie Wright

A poem in ‘Ink Sweat and Tears’:
Annie Wright | Ink Sweat and Tears

Big Bang's Star Poets series is curated by Hugh McMillan

Find out more about the Star Poets here