Keith Chandler moved to Bridgnorth from Norfolk ten years ago.
Since being selected for Ten English Poets (Carcanet) in 1977, his poetry has been published in four collections: Kett’s Rebellion (Carcanet, 1982), A Passing Trade (OUP, 1991), A Different Kind of Smoke (Redbeck, 2001) and The English Civil War Part 2 (Peterloo Poets, 2009).
A new collection, The Goldsmith’s Apprentice, was published in 2018 by Fair Acre Press and awarded The Rubery International Award for Poetry.
Further news about publications and reviews, as well as some irregular blogging, can be found on: Keith Chandler Poet.com
The “chicken girl” by Keith Chandler
they called you, those who tutted, clucked
but wouldn’t ‘interfere’ or help
the mother who, moustached retard,
couldn’t cope, left you at home all day,
all night, with feathered foster aunts.
Among the dust, the dried sick smell
of chicken mash, the one square yard
of sky, fluff, yuk, hexagonal eyes
of wire, square yard of sluttish sand…
Aged ten, tiny skull, hands bent back
at the wrist, “unable to communicate
except through head-jerking shrieks”
and, rarely, that self-crooning sound
that dust bath, or contentment, makes…
Perched on the social worker’s lap
I see you, bright disc-membraned eye
(the other side blurred over, scarred
from unhealed fights) staring back
at the camera as at a bottle cap.