Series Editor - Jim Bennett

Introduction by Jim Bennett


Hello.  Welcome to the next in the series of CITN featured poets.  We will be looking at the work of a different poet in each edition and I hope it will help our readers to discover some new and exciting writing.  This series is open to all to submit and I am now keen to read new work for this series.


You can join the CITN mailing list at - http://www.poetrykit.org/pkl/index.htm and following the links for Caught in the Net.




You too were leaning

on the edge,

counting last seconds of light

until the dark should come.


In the blackening sky a moon,

thin twist of lemon skin,

holds back the dark like hope.


                 from; Watching for the Spring  by Gill McEvoy






The Dairy-room in the Old Farmhouse

On Reading Dannie Abse

Peaches for Pickling

Petrified Forest, Meols, Wirral.


The Wayward Button

The Power of Three

Time of Leaves

Visit from a Long-eared Bat.


Watching for the Spring





Gill McEvoy, poet based in Chester,UK where she runs several regular poetry groups: Zest! Open Floor nights at Alexander's Rufus Court, Chester; The Poem Shed, a workshop group; Poem catchers, a venture dedicated to bringing good workshops to poets in Cheshire and the Wirral; and The Golden Pear, a poetry reading group. All of this surprises her enormously as a few years ago she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and warned that she probably had only a short while to live. That "short while" has enabled her to have 2 pamphlets published:

"Uncertain Days" and "A Sampler" (Happenstance Press, 2006,2008) and a full collection "The Plucking Shed" (Cinnamon Press 2010). She remembers with gratitude her awkward beginnings as a poet, at Borders poetry evenings, hosted by Jim Bennett.







The Dairy-room in the Old Farmhouse



Its silence pinions you

as if snakes had risen from its shelves

to turn you into stone.


In its gloom you’re thrust back

to a pig-tailed, scab-kneed you, dress torn

from scrambling through barbed wire.


Your skin goose-pimples in the ooze

of sweat from cold slate slabs.

Slowly, like an invisible fan, air opens;


the seductive scent of cooling milk uncurls.

Just as you used to do you scoop a thumb

through the slick of yellow cream,


wait till the hollow heals itself

and only then you swallow.






On Reading Dannie Abse



If my life were in your hands


might you pause,

your scalpel raised,

halted by a new line

entering your head?


And when you stitch me up

would you sew

a bright dewfall of words

into my body’s purse?






Peaches for Pickling



They are wedged in their bushel basket

like a crowd in a stadium,

cheering the sun’s ball on its arc

from rise to fall, their ripe scent

surging like a chant of summer.


She empties them out on the tabletop:

they scurry, scatter, hesitate,

then shiver to a stop

as if they were oddly cold inside

their felted skins of fur.


How will it be tonight,

her knives and pickling pans all done,

each fruit bald and naked

in the mirror

of the jars?





Petrified Forest, Meols, Wirral.



There was a storm last night,

the kind that scoops up waves

like massive cabers,


hurls them over the sea-wall.

Earth shook all night 

with the boom of their fall.


It ripped out railings from the walks,

sucked up sand in a furious mouth

as wide as a tunnel.


And dug us up.


Time-frozen stumps of blackened wood,

we’ve slept for centuries

in our cemetery of sand,


wrecked fossils of another time,

another place.









In the dust-embalmed light

bleached posters showed,

side-view and cross-section,

how tongue, lips, palate, voice-box

channel air to make a sound,

then ball it up to pitch it in the space

between speaker and listener:

this was language being shaped.


Every Thursday we shuffled  past the dead

exhibits in the Museum Building,

upstairs to Philology, to study Language

on its journey down the centuries.

We sat there, draughts snuffling round our feet,

watching the lecturer deliver through his dry

tobacco mouth the sounds he spoke of.


On his ashy tongue plosives, dentals,

glottals, uvulars and palatals

shrivelled up like dying leaves.





The Wayward Button



I burnt your coat in November,

Bonfire Night, when else?

God knows, that coat was you:

stubborn in the way it wouldn’t burn,

awkward in the way it slumped on top the pile,

out of shape with everything,

the world, itself.


That coat was every morning

when I couldn’t start the day on time:

you to wash and dress, kids to get to school,

and you, soiled again: three more lines

of washing, sheets, pyjamas, towels

to hang outside.


That coat was each Day Centre afternoon

when you refused to get in the car and I,

with murder in my heart - shopping to fetch,

washing to bring in before the rain,

dinner burning slowly on the stove -

would force you in, all sixteen stone,

then feel the scald of tears.


It played a last trick when it burned:
a button loosed by flame fell from the fire,

rolled to rest at my right foot. It lay there

like a small dog begging amnesty.

Next morning when I raked the ashes flat

I picked it up. Now it goes

everywhere with me.





The Power of Three



For three months all she

dreamed about was you:

she named your name,

practised saying it

again, again,

papered rooms,

sewed bright quilts,

and painted rainbows,

just for you.


All you came to

was three stains

on the bed-sheets;

three black Furies


another death.





Time of Leaves



Five o’clock arrives

and still there is a streak

of blue and yellow light

thinning out across the sky.


It is enough:

the buds can feel

the light returning,

silently begin to swell.


Birds hear the stirring

in the tight-furled sheaves,

know the time of leaves

is not so far away.






Visit from a Long-eared Bat.



Fierce winds have flung you in from the night,

hurled you against the lit veranda wall,

a spatter of black mud. You cling.

We greet your strange arrival with delight.


I see the fish-hook on your wing,

the thin vanes on its leathered fan

as you splay it out, then draw it in,

your soft wax melting in and out of shape.


Your ears, black spathes of arum,

shiver to the echo of a moth in flight.

You’ve moved right round; now, upside-down,

could plummet any second


like a fat ripe plum,

splatter on the stones below,

stain them with the seep of

sloe-dark blood.


The night is lashed by wind,

clouds claw across the moon’s white face.


A moth blows in and batters at the lamp.

Your sudden shadow shears my head.









It comes before the squeak

of wheel and chain,

booming up the tow-path,

frightening the ducks,


hits the phone mast,

scuttles down the water-tower walls,

crosses the canal and bounces off

the terraced cottages.


It’s not addressed

to any of us walking here.

Hood shapes a megaphone

around his face, amplifying


words that baffle

with their lack of sense.


The bike creaks by at last;

his feet turn even circles,

his eyes fixed on some future

like a sailor’s seeking land.


When he’s passed

we hear harsh laughter

ripping back along the path.






Watching for the Spring

(in memory of poet Dike Omeje)



She has been leaning on the sink

these past twenty minutes


counting the last moments of the day

before the tidal wave of night

engulfs the house.


Her weight has made her forearms ache,

resting on the rolled enamel edge

so long.


You too were leaning

on the edge,

counting last seconds of light

until the dark should come.


In the blackening sky a moon,

thin twist of lemon skin,

holds back the dark like hope.


And there, the Evening Star,

pulsing, larger than life,

like you.




3 - Afterword

Email Poetry Kit - info@poetrykit.org    - if you would like to tell us what you think.  We are looking for other poets to feature in this series, and are open to submissions.  Please send one poem and a short bio to - info@poetrykit.org

Thank you for taking the time to read Caught in the Net.  Our other magazine s are Transparent Words ands Poetry Kit Magazine, which are webzines on the Poetry Kit site and this can be found at -