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 - and following the links for Caught in the Net.




at Kelvingrove Art Gallery

we loop the chantries

of Old Masters and Impressionists

but it’s the Pre-Raphaelites

who capture my soul


                 from; Sacred to Lovers by Eileen Carney Hulme





Sacred To Lovers   


Sifting Karma  



Love Song of the Boatman    

The Soldier’s Wife  

The Bigger Picture 




1 – BIOGRAPHY:  Eileen Carney Hulme


Eileen Carney Hulme now lives in the far North of Scotland. She has lived and worked in Europe and London as a library assistant and as a practitioner and tutor of complementary therapies. Her first collection of poems Stroking The Air was published by Bluechrome of Bristol in 2005 and the book was awarded third place in The Purple Patch Best Collections Award 2005

Her second poetry collection The Space Between Rain was published by Indigo Dreams Publishing on 1st June 2010 and has received a number of excellent reviews.


Her poems have appeared in poetry magazines, anthologies and internet poetry websites. She has won several prizes and been placed or Highly Commended in many competitions including; The City Of Derby Short Story and Poetry Competition, Coffee House Poetry Competition, Hastings International Poetry Competition, Partners Annual Poetry Competition, Indigo Dreams Press Poetry Awards, The Sheila Nugent Awards and The Dawntreader Awards.











Sacred To Lovers


Jumping off the train

at Glasgow Central

we collide with the day

scoop the rhythm

of the city, the chill

of shadows cast


at Kelvingrove Art Gallery

we loop the chantries

of Old Masters and Impressionists

but it’s the Pre-Raphaelites

who capture my soul


downstairs in the café-bar

nuzzling hot chocolate

and ruled by Venus

I decide to buy a miniature framed print

of Hesperus, the evening star,

ruled by Mars

you do not view this as a risk.









There is no unfolding of gentle day

the rhythmic churn of bodies turning

uncurling bones, the scattering of ghosts


there are no sighs

as though a season faded

slowly, the fall of leaf and branch


there is only the ambush

of night, doors and darkness

and the trembling weight of rain.




Sifting Karma


I wanted to ask you

about Hesperus and early

mornings like this in the North

where the brightest star

is a talisman and a crimson lake

floats on a faraway sky


I wanted to know how

you slept and if your dreams

were white clouds trailing over

distant mountains and if your hands

held blossoms or snow


I wanted to tell you

that on countless walks

I have gathered these gifts-

leaves, pebbles, a melted

moon and three leftover kisses

from a picnic on the dunes.









For years my mother

polished brass and wood in church,

her tiny hands performing miracles

on a daily basis


During school holidays

or sometimes on a Saturday

I shared her working day


At first I was afraid

of empty pews and pulpit,

silent saints on stained glass

or marbled, staring back at me


A room full of vestments

threaded red, gold and purple-

outfits for any occasion


My mum’s voice like a prayer

would call out

to fetch more polish or a clean duster


It was as holy to me

as any hymn,

her smile circling every corner


Now when I go to church

and it isn’t often,

I look at the shiny candleholders,

smell the beeswax mixed with frankincense


I hear the sound

of my mother singing

and light a candle

giving thanks.







In the shed I find

dried teasel and sea holly

your old gardening gloves

the big pot you used

for winter soups

filled now with crab apples


I imagine you sitting

in your favourite spot,

watching bees, butterflies,

birds feeding, planning your recipe

of crab apple and chilli jelly,

I know you liked the kick


Never one to play safe,

I remember the photographs,

you in khaki uniform

tracking incoming bombers

married to a gunner, my father,

days of Spitfires, air raids


And eerie silences

a promise of peace

a last dance.

I put on your gloves for protection

pick up teasel and sea holly

begin a blue wreath.







Love Song of the Boatman


At the old boathouse

after you’d shown me

your stone skimming skills

I say ‘we’re in danger’


As you breathe orange-blossom

secrets on the bare of my neck

we are unwrapping summer

like children at the coast


Kidnapping the sun

building invisible sand castles

treading barefoot over rocks

slip sliding on dreams


You say ‘angels once lived here

watching over the boatmen’

for a second we are still

listening for their presence


On the wooden beams we scroll

hieroglyphs of lovers long travelled

water hums and your fingers are feathers

beating the drum of my heart.








The Soldier’s Wife


I bring you Longjing tea

bought from the street hawkers

in Hangzhou


scented sweet-

we sip in silence-

the wind outside settles to a whisper.


Tomorrow you will travel

without me and the months ahead

will burn to dust


with orders to follow

you will be trapped

in a land of broken dreams.


When you cannot sleep

count the steps up to the temple

at Hangzhou’s aromatic mountain


remember how I read the leaves-

their slender shape

life-giving and waiting.






The Bigger Picture


I know you would have liked this tree

its ghostly branches cast as runes

against the glow of late October


Sitting here without reason

with nothing to say,

thinking of your heart

keeping time with mine,

dancing barefoot on the kitchen floor

or grass, or on the sand,

thinking that perhaps you might come

here, to find me


There are pebbles in my pocket

from my walk on the beach.

Was that yesterday? I forget now.

I turn them over and over

hoping they might have something to tell


But I wait in silence

with a tangle of thoughts,

the day dispersing,

watching this space, a thumbprint

of life without you.








I said your name

six times today, out loud

asked six people had they seen you

lately, near the orchard

where the apples thrum

and gaping mouths await


or perhaps they’d glimpsed

your shadow in the dunes,

whispering secrets to the marram grass,

walking to where the waves break

with the sea shaping

wrongs and rights


no-one knew where you’d gone

or how long you’d been away,

doors and windows boarded up,

the dull of sea-salt mouldering the past

and our almost days and nights

somewhere else, distant, unlived.






August is autumnal here in the North

the subtle change of air-

its scent, its breath


today, walking, I’m reminded

of you and the years I lived

in the Gardener’s Cottage


you were the gardener and the cottage

rented out now


daily you’d pedal to work

with your bicycle clips on,

I would hear you whistling


cutting logs, placing a brown paper bag

filled with fresh vegetables

outside my door, its contents

a reminder of each changing season


sometimes I would come to find you

in the wood-shed or in the grounds

your back bent to the task


your life reflected in your hands-

top of one finger missing

a black thumb nail


‘I’ve just put the kettle on’, I’d say

you’d lay your spade or saw to rest

and happily we’d pass the time of day



when I told you it was time for me

to move on, I said keep in touch

I’ll send my new address


you replied you were not one for writing

and that you’d think of me often


years later a mutual friend wrote to tell me

you’d died, in the tool–shed I picture

your worn work jacket with

the stray wood shavings hanging on its nail


I think of your smile-

your complexion-

your life complete.



3 - Publishing History


 Sacred To Lovers    Published in The Space Between Rain             

 Goodbyes  Published in The Space Between Rain and winner of The Forres Library Poetry Competition

 Sifting Karma   Published in The Space Between Rain, first published in Poetry Scotland and Highly Commended in The Indigo Dreams Poetry Awards

 Mary    Published in Stroking The Air

Hand–Picked       Published in The Space Between Rain and voted 3rd place reader’s vote in Reach Poetry

Love Song of the Boatman     Shortlisted Partners Annual Poetry Competition published in Aspire

The Soldier’s Wife   Published in Reach Poetry

The Bigger Picture  Published in The Space Between Rain, runner up in Coffee  House Poetry Competition

Missing   Published in The Space Between Rain

Jock  Published in The Space Between Rain and Reach Poetry



4 - Afterword

Email Poetry Kit -    - 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 -

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 -