Paul Stevens was born in Yorkshire, England but lives in Australia. He has an Honours degree in English, teaches Literature and edits The Flea, The Shit Creek Review and The Chimaera.
The Paragon of Plants
Eye to eye we track, grown heliotropic,
And sunlight ripples ticklish on our skin;
Your touch on my touch, phototactic, sticks.
We bathe in energy, our element:
Sky trickling liquid down bare branches,
Earth fingering upward through deep roots.
Now buds and foliage spring from manic limbs,
Hands metamorphose to the fruit they reach for:
Sense is exactly what sense apprehends,
And in this growth engrafts all difference
Of sex and soul, with scion cleaved to stock
And trunk to shaggy trunk. Swaying as one,
A paragon of plants, we rollick there,
Breathing light in, gasping out spicy air.
Previously published in Umbrella.
The second issue of poetry and art journal, ouroboros review, is now online and includes an interview with me and a few poems.
Here’s a brief extract from the interview:
“It’s hard to say how living in South Africa has influenced my writing. I find it difficult to think of “influences”; so many things combine to create voice and writing style. If anything, I’d say direct influences have been contemporary Northern hemisphere poets: American, Canadian and English. In my early twenties, I fell in love with Sylvia Plath and Anne Sexton’s work, and I adored Erica Jong’s chutzpah.
I admire the poetry of Louise Glück, Margaret Atwood, Marge Piercy, Pascale Petit, Vicki Feaver, Mary Oliver, Ted Hughes, T S Eliot, Mark Doty, Eilean Ni Chuilleanain, Derek Walcott, Pablo Neruda, Sharon Olds, Adrienne Rich, William Carlos Williams, Billy Collins and many more. There are some wonderful South African poets: Isobel Dixon, Rustum Kozain, Kelwyn Sole, Karen Press, Finuala Dowling, Joan Metelerkamp, Fiona Zerbst and Gabeba Baderoon, among others.”
Issue two also contains Collin Kelley’s interview with Vanessa Daou, poetry by Iain Britton, Allan Peterson, Rebecca Gethin, Robin Reagler, Julie Buffaloe-Yoder, Paul Stevens, Dustin Brookshire, Carolee Sherwood, Deb Scott, Jill Crammond Wickham – and that’s just the beginning. The eye-catching cover art of the full moon over Atlanta is the work of talented photographer, Meg Pearlstein.
Indefatigable editors, Jo Hemmant and Christine Swint, have once again done a sterling job. The journal is beautifully laid out and produced.
Read it here.