Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Damaged Goods in Transit

I'm currently looking for any suggestions of interesting ways to promote my forthcoming book, 'In Memory of Real Trees'. If anyone has any ideas, particularly involving the web, I'd be grateful if you'd email them to Name's will be acknowledged in the third book as a thank you.

For now, I hope you enjoy this sample from the book. 'Damaged Goods in Transit' is the opening poem, and I like to think that it nicely introduces a lot of the themes and ideas which are addressed over the ensuing pages.

Please feel free to leave comments, or get in touch on the above email address with any feedback or to join the mailing list.

Damaged Goods in Transit

Are you lonely again?
Have you come here feeling lost?
Do you sit there counting out the cost?
Are you scared tonight because there’s so much to fear,
or because you’ve put your dreams on hold
for yet another year?

When it gets painful
and when it hurts,
do you find yourself asking what it’s all really worth?
How often do you wish your life away like me,
hiding beneath the pillows from everyday tragedies?

Do you ever feel you’re tearing blindly
to hopelessness, loss and apathy?
Water trickling down the plughole
into a void, expansive sea.

You turn off the lights and lay naked in the dark,
staring at the ceiling;
listening out for homesick aliens.
Do you feel vulnerable, dark and cold?
Too tired to sleep,
too empty to weep,
pray with heart and soul that something fills the hole.

Do you feel like a stuffed toy unravelling at the seams
when you stare at the news on a flickering screen?
Just a frightened, vulnerable child again:
that desperate incomprehension of suffering and pain.

Walking on ashes, smoke choking your neck,
the earth shakes and trembles like a shivering mess,
crippled by the anxiety of claustrophobic dreams,
pleading ‘what have we done?’, stifling the screams.
We walk upon gold but in blood it gleams,
take up arms to ruin the glittering streets,
we bow to the mercy of murderous thieves.
Now we’re damned straight to hell by our self-absorbed greed.

And it’s hard to have faith
when the world seems so fragile:
damaged goods in transit
through infinite space.
Are we walking hand in hand
down the executioner’s mile,
waiting for spare parts
or a last saving grace?

And as the dusky shadows fall,
you’re afraid the sun won’t rise again.
Crossing the border to the city’s edge;
into the hills and to the end,
past broken glass and broken homes,
broken dreams and broken stones,
broken fortunes giving way
to open sky above open wounds.

There’s a crimson stream which slowly runs
through fields untroubled by soldier’s tombs,
winding through miles of unexplored woods,
then bursting out from the canopied cocoon.

From the hilltop clearing, you can almost see
the scars of the suburbs stretching slowly beneath:
just writhing embryos of a larger disease
that feeds on corruption and thrives upon fear,

but close to a night sky that sparkles and shines,
you felt safe from the nightmare below.

So you carved an inscription upon a stone,
in crumbling earth planted a seed:
‘for the day when the branches are replaced with bones,
in memory of real trees’.

Monday, 5 October 2009

In Memory of Real Trees : Coming 28.11.09

Lancashire writer Mark Charlesworth, whose self-published d├ębut, 'Sunrise and Shorelines', was released last year, is set to release a second collection of poetry this winter.

Since the completion of his first book, Mark has finished an English degree at the University of Central Lancashire and has been dedicating himself to writing. His latest offering, 'In Memory of Real Trees', is another self-financed, self-published endeavour. This time, however, the book will also be raising funds for The Christie Hospital, with a contribution from each sale being donated to the charity. And it's not the first time Mark has raised money for a good cause, having become known for undertaking lengthy sponsored walks: travels which he documented on his popular online blog, before becoming established as a poet.

'In Memory of Real Trees' displays a more focused, mature style of writing and a shift toward darker territory. Its vast range of influences and subject matter culminate to form a cutting social commentary, which dissects the darkest and seediest aspects of life yet reminds the reader that there is beauty to be found even here. The poems “Shipwreck” and “Where Sickness Seeps from the Magazine Gloss” explore the cut-throat nature of modern media and its effect on our lives, whereas “Attic Room” provides a romanticism never previously demonstrated by the author. By contrast, “Damaged Goods in Transit”, the opening piece, displays the fragile line between human good and evil, a theme which is echoed throughout the book, ultimately raising the issue that whatever is happening amid the chaos of our world, the responsibility to change things is a collective one.

Over the last year, aside from contributing as a columnist in local media and speaking for the Lytham Arts Association, Mark has been a regular performer at The Spotlight Club in Lancaster, alongside various other poetry events. One of which being the open-mic night at The Continental in Preston (, where his book launch is to take place on the 28th November.