Ex-science teacher, ex-literature development worker, ex-Arts Council Education Officer, Helen Clare has been professionally involved in just about anything that involves creative writing, science and learning. She is also, of course, a poet. From the Assassin Bug to the Tear-Drinking Moth, from the Solitary Bee to the Common Wasp, in these sonnets the precision of science uncovers a drama of loss and despair, new love and unstoppable desire.
It turns out that the knack my mother had
of seeking out and bouncing smoothed flat stones
off the surface of Lake Bala depends
on water meshing, like a trampoline
returning the fallen to the sky,
or the atmosphere pushing off spacecraft.
Water clings to itself like mercury,
avoiding air, forming drops as it’s sloughed
from drenched dogs. Insect legs stretch the water’s shell:
they paddle without piercing or wetness.
It’s true too that a mosquito’s footfall
does not break dreams, as the skin—oblivious
to air—shrugs off the countless touches
of the day. Talk to me now of ripples.