Literary Spotlight: Tess Barry

Literary Spotlight: Tess Barry

Emptied of All But Wildness

See her work in Vol. IV #7

Running past an urban field
emptied of all but wildness,
I see a scattered patch of bricks,
sprawling weeds grown brown and tall
and in among them glimpse
some purpled heads of summer clover.

They bend and blow toward me.
A single Queen Anne’s Lace rises
plain and white, its tiny clusters pleading
until I stop to peer
and pluck them free.

Pausing there, I breathe again
the woven afternoons of August,
my fingers threading stalks of daisies,
plaiting latticed faces to fit damp heads.
All summer long
we crowned our days
in petalled greens and whites and yellows.

To drift, resplendent
in those common wilted hours.
To lap at sweetness
among hidden bees,
knee-deep in clovered meadows
emptied of all but wildness.


Tess Barry was shortlisted for the 2015 Manchester Poetry Prize (UK). Twice a finalist for North American Review’s James Hearst Poetry Prize and Aesthetica magazine’s (UK) Poetry Award. She also was shortlisted for the 2014 Bridport Poetry Prize (UK). Most recently, her poems appeared in or are forthcoming in The Compass magazine (UK), Cordite Poetry Review (Australia), Mudfish, The Pickled Body (Ireland), Pittsburgh Poetry Review, and online at the Manchester Writing School’s (UK) website. Visit her website.


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