Danielle Hope 
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The Stone Ship

£7.95 1873468 911 (Paperback)

“She knows precisely which words to choose and exactly how to place them” – Rosie Bailey.

Danielle Hope is interested in boundaries, journeys, conflicts and survival. As a medical doctor and scientist in her other life, she has an acute sense of the borders between the imagination and reality (whatever that is). Her satire is gentle but none the less effective for that. One reviewer said “her poems are rich with whispered ideas”. She is a former trustee of Survivors’ Poetry.


Examples of poems from The Stone Ship

When the clock grows quiet
and I have changed into evening
you come into the room soft
as moonrays that light
the back of my arms. 
"How have you been?"
you ask, as the cat springs
from your favourite chair
so we can break bread over
midnight conversation. 
Learning a language 
 I walk to the woodland
to seek shapes 
in moss stained on trees. 
But there is no tapestry.
Only bark that is hard 
a trail of straw footsteps
in the weave of dead leaves 
and sunlight
a path that disappears. 
I walk to the canal
to catch words in water
before they splash over lock 
and drill stone.
But even if I take a stick
and trouble the glaze with my name 
ripples remain unintelligible.
A coot swims crooked circles
under a pulsing bridge. 
Is it that this language is indistinct? 
Or am I blind 
unable to tell line 
from shadow, green from grey?
Or both? 
Uneasy travellers 
destined to read different alphabets
draw arrow as sail-boat
twenty types of twilight 
discerned as one. 
And I walk to the sea
to look for messages in dunes 
and sea-grass
but find a tangle of red flowers I cannot identify.
The sea shuffles 
illegible scatters of sand.  

 to hear this poem click play
Postcard from Van Gogh to John Russell 
Some would consider this a lazy 
way to paint. No need to offer wine, 
coffee, even water. No cost of a model.
No rearrangements. No unexpected 
complaints. And I am not tired.  
A face, left and right swapped. 
Scars newly seen. 
Self-portrait. Or mask. 
Not like Gauguin, he drew me
"dead tired and emotionally terrible" 
taking so long in painting 
that the sunflowers died. 
Or you Russell, making me out 
the grand master, in a brown suit 
holding a pencil. The serious artist  
scrutinising his work. No, I am
a clutch of greedy brushes
a wild pallet of colour 
sculpting my hungry ghost.  

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