About the Author

Since her ceramics degree in 2001 she has made brick sculpture, textile art and photographic works; and has been exhibited in Birmingham, London and Brighton.  She started writing in 2003.

 

Nadia has won some prizes for her short stories, and her poems have been published in magazines and books that include Brand, Orbis, Comma and Field Studies Council and the 2011 anthology of  Wenlock Poetry Festival.

 

Nadia Kingsley has edited a book called 'Shropshire Butterflies - a poetic and artistic guide to the butterflies of Shropshire'. It has sixty six contributors - from butterfly and nature experts, artists and poets including Gillian Clarke, Roger Garfitt and Mario Petrucci and is published by Fair Acre Press. The book was  officially launched in Save our Butterflies Week, July 23rd 2011, with money from every sale going to butterfly-conservation. 

 In 2015, Nadia is involved in a collaborative performance called e-x-p-a-n-d-i-n-g: the history of the Universe in 45 minutes - along with poet Emma Purshouse, musician Giancarlo Facchinetti, and astrophysicist Professor Trevor Ponman. They will be performing at festivals within a mobile planetarium dome, with 360 degree visuals.

 Nadia Kingsley is the editor of Fair Acre Press. Please visit:  www.fairacrepress.co.uk  if you'd like to find out more.

 

 

 

 Train                                            

(published by Ink,Sweat and Tears, August 2014)

 

You'd have thought

that my journeying 

 

from Telford to London 

would be enough time

 

to read these poems 

to darn a jumper

 

to stare out the window; but

between the announcements

 

the ticket inspection

the dark-light of tunnels

 

the loud conversations

the fast-moving humans

 

our slowing at stations;

all I have managed 

 

is a few short emails, and to watch a man with thick black moustache:

A luggage-rack reflection, he eases off a tinfoilcover, spoons,

 

with love, the cherry yoghurt, to his lips, 

avoiding drips on to suit, 

 

pale pink shirt and, instead of a tie, a thing 

whose name escapes me but it hangs like a ribbon, holding his identity.

 

Once scraped clean, pot put away in Tupperware, tangerine untouched.

It strikes me, later, at a party, where a man is talking lanyards; that

 

perhaps too, I was watched - with tilted head, and upturned eyes; and

how the train had wrapped us all, like segments in an unpeeled orange.


 

On Monday Evening

  On Monday evening, I went to Bridgnorth cemetery for a wildflower walk that was to be guided by an expert. I arrived early. I was pretty excited: it wasn't raining for a change, and I'd been wanting to visit the cemetery for a long time - having caught some tantalising glimpses of it, through the trees, on my way to work.

   The road to the cemetery turns out to be surprisingly narrow - and steep. Short too. I see the collection of people before I see its gates. There's already half a dozen cars here. I reverse in, leaving space for a guy, with a greying beard, piercing button eyes and an NHS hearing aid, to finish getting his walking boots on.

  A rosy-cheeked white-haired lady; smile from ear to ear; comes to stand next to my part of the tarmac - the place I've decided is close enough to the core of the group to show that I'm here for the walk, but not so close as to suggest that I needed to be included in their conversation. I say hi to her. She's still smiling, as she starts to rock from side to side. After a while she asks me for a pound. I rush for my wallet mumbling, that I didn't know that there was a charge, but I immediately regret it as she now seems on the defensive but, pound passed over, she gently rocks away, still smiling, to land in front of the newest arrival.

  The wildflower expert comes over next. He's slim, fit and looks like he spends a lot of time outdoors - all attributes that set him apart from the others. We stagger into a conversation about the weather, and as I've spent the afternoon getting the spinach, carrots and salad into the ground I speak about that too. And then we are tumbling, tumbling into a snow drift of words, eyes looking up at the wonder of it all, bodies cushioned - sharing, sharing - we are neighbours of space, but not time - the woods, the caves, the views, the bluebells - he knows it all, we've shared these places, like lovers; but then, he is guided away; willingly he goes; by a jolly man, binoculars at hand, birdsong on his lips. I can't resent him, the expert's fair game at these things - but I feel naked in the knowledge that he used to live in the woods below us - and my last words to him still echo through the cemetery - Why on earth did you move?

  One of the younger women comes over. I saw you were on your own - she says. I'm on my own too, she says. Have you been with the group before? This is my first time, she says. I try to converse but it's like walking through mud; her timidity's infectious and we've nothing in common.

   The expert clears his throat, then asks the group to put the details of their next of kin on a piece of paper. Fleetingly I think it's a ruse to find out more about me, but the rosy-cheeked lady is telling someone about the recent training they all had to do. The words -health and safety- ripple through the group, handed around with pen and paper; bandied around like a well worn joke. Pockets of chatter bubble up in all directions. I wonder when we are going to get started and then suddenly we are off, through the huge cemetery gates and up into the undulating landscape where the dead and the living can come together, without reproach.