'Blue Hole' by Rebecca Wainwright
‘The poets in Deep Time 2 have delved into the buried landscapes of our world and returned with small but beautiful findings. Here we are flâneurs, observers and participants in the underland, whose reliquary of history and ancient culture forms a rich seam to be mined. These treasures shed light both on ourselves and the very difficult times we currently live in.’
(Co-editor, The Lampeter Review)
‘Black Bough Poetry, founded in 2019 by Matthew M. C. Smith, has reignited the independent poetry scene in the United Kingdom through their publication of high-quality, imagist poetry and their engagement with poets and presses of all backgrounds […] What is immediately apparent, is the range of contributors. Indeed, there are a number of superbly talented writers among the contents listings and some other less familiar names.’
Alan Parry (Editor, Broken Spine)
‘Black Bough editor Matthew M.C. Smith has galvanized a total of 115 poets combined in Deep Time 1 and 2 to create a polyphonic composition that seems to rise from humanity's collective unconscious. Poets draw from a rich archetypal inheritance to explore the hidden world below and, in some cases, around us. The poet as maker of meaning is always in view in this collection as she shares hard-wrested insights into nature and an increasingly degraded natural world. In a sense, it's a Wordworthian proposition aimed at awareness and renewal of our vital relationship with nature in all its real and dreamlike manifestations as we stand between an inscrutable, archaic past and an uncertain future. As Wordsworth wrote: "So might I, standing on this pleasant lea, /Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn; / Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;/ Or hear old Triton blow his wreathèd horn. In a difficult time, we all might find awe and an uplifted spirit if we can remain uncynical and listen to this multi-tonal meditation of witness borne by the many voices in Deep Time.’
(Editor, Icefloe Press)
'In a timely manner, Vol 2 purposefully blurs the boundaries between the natural and anthropogenic landscape, sweeping us down into the underworlds of our mythical and ancient inheritance. These are journeys as much as they are poems, steeped in ancestral traditions. A wonderfully enjoyable read and a beautiful reminder of the transience of our own existence. On my own frequent visitations to prehistoric monuments in beautiful landscape settings, I usually take an Ordnance Survey map. Now, I shall be making room in my back-pack for Deep Time, Vols. 1 and 2.'
Alex J. Langlands
(Archaeologist, presenter and writer)
Deep Time 2
‘It is a common trope in underworld stories from across cultures and centuries that a small entrance-point opens into complex hidden space. Underland acted merely as that entrance-point for this Black Bough volume; the writers and artists gathered here have carried out their own fathomings and explorations, and the result is a collection of work that feels both contemporary and mythic, urgent and ancient. Strange voices for strange times sing out here.’
Deep Time volume 2, is Black Bough poetry's second print anthology. It is dedicated to the writer Robert Macfarlane, who wrote award-winning non-fiction work, Underland (2019).
This edition was edited by Welsh writer Matthew M. C. Smith, with the back-up and expertise of a team, including Welsh writer, Laura Wainwright, Louisiana's former Laureate, Jack Bedell, and Aotearoa's, Ankh Spice. The amazing illustrations are by Rebecca Wainwright, a Newport-born artist from Newport in Wales, now living in London. Music for this project is composed and curated by Brisbane-based Stuart Rawlinson.
Deep Time volume 2 is dedicated to all things ancient, mythical, magical, geological, and archaeological. Poems time-travel, explore ancient land and seascapes and plummet deep into the earth. They record actual explorations and imaginative ones by the poets.
We're delighted that it attained no. 2 in the Amazon UK poetry anthology chart.
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Volume 2 features 97 poems by poets such as Jane Lovell, Ness Owen, Mari Ellis Dunning, Briony Collins, Lynn Valentine, Estelle Price, Dai Fry, Angela Graham, Eliot North, Peach Delphine, Kyla Houbolt, Kip Knott, Damien B. Donnelly and Siobhan Campbell. There are many more poets from across the world with stunning work!
I wonder what I would leave for the Gods,
those who own this place,
their breath still present,
thick within these liquid walls:
a blood-stained needle for sewing her dresses,
a flint-tipped arrow for his heart,
a boat hollowed from ancient, for journey’s end?
Big Dismal Sinkhole, Tallahassee
Every sink is a portal,
an opening up of the deep within,
an eye for blue unblinking,
sand-licking wind. Every tree
is a thumbprint of sky.
Every sink is a portal, a reaching outward
of near aquifer, water from the lightless,
the bones of this place spongy
with age. Rain percolates, dissolves
limestone, water gathers light from within.
What you murmur, I drink.
I thirst, you pour.
You have divined me under rock.
Beneath your snow I sensed a spring.
A hard passage and, at the issue,
A narrow way.
Be it a needle’s eye our loves flow through,
So long as they conjoin, I’ll not complain.
A vein subverts the rock, unbinds the ice.
Winter has gone away.