12NOW: Tory Campbell

11004400_10153114983617392_936441823_nTory Campbell is from Belfast. A Fine Art/Art History graduate from Goldsmiths College, Tory began writing in her early thirties. Her poems have been published in local anthologies, The Stinging Fly and The Irish Independent.

Tory was shortlisted for the 2012 Hennessy Literary Award for Emerging Poetry and was highly commended in the 2014 Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Award. She was winner of the Belfast heat of All Ireland Poetry Slam, and second place for the All Ulster Slam in 2016.

When she is not writing, Tory runs SHINE special yoga, offering inclusive yoga therapy to people with additional needs.

Twitter: @poetrydoodle


After years

The removal was easier
than I had imagined –
although you’d embedded
yourself in me, we are

I bury you in a small black box.

But the skin underneath
maintains your whitened imprint,
and my claustrophobic finger –
now unnoosed – is left

Weeks later
there is still a clear gouge,
a band of glistening tightness
like the formation of a scar,
and my thumb nail nuzzles
the groove where warm metal was –
slow learner – rubbing me raw.

My father doesn’t like cut flowers

The fading blooms
protrude from vases like
canopies of languid butterflies
that drop apologetically
in turn
onto sideboards, mantels, rugs.

Breathless parachutes –
silent as dust
in stagnant rooms
draped with the heavy spill
of scent. The pollen stains
like rouge.

…………….He remembers
his childhood –
filled with weighty stems
saluting his parents
laid out in the dining room for days.
Barely a year apart.