Cathy Bryant is 44, vegan, bisexual, disabled and cheerful, all of which have informed her work. Cathy’s poems and stories have been published on five continents in magazines and anthologies. In 2010 she won the Marple Humorous Poetry Prize and in 2012 she won the Sampad ‘Inspired by Tagore’ Poetry Contest and the Swanezine Poetry Competition, and became runner-up Prole Laureate. Cathy co-edits the annual anthology ‘Best of Manchester Poets’, and her own collection, ‘Contains Strong Language and Scenes of a Sexual Nature’ is available from all good booksellers or online. She can be contacted at email@example.com
Sissinghurst and Here
Trousered and bobbed, unlikely Eves
were the thoroughly modern Vita and Violet;
yet a fresh Eden of woman-love grew
as their strong hands planted, plucked
and arranged planned worlds of flora.
So tenderly you touch me, tentatively
– no confident aristocrats, we, and our garden
is unassuming and compact. Still,
it is still, full of scent from the sweetest
blooms, the rounding bushes, where we lie
after our pilgrimage to Sissinghurst.
Did Vita throw herself down on soft beds
of soil and say: let me hold your stem
and crown your head with buttercups?
In lesbian longing and sympathy for
the differing confines, even of green spaces,
I wish we could invite Vita and Violet
to return our visit. Come, sit.
See the hollyhocks and herbs. And always,
always, white roses and violets,
fragile, enduring, alive, alive-oh.