Maria Isakova Bennett

Broken in Five Verses & Novena before Singer Sargent

Maria Isakova Bennett

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Broken in five verses

                             after Mira Schendel

Her drawings spiral in air –

and he

           heavy with the weight of work


sees them

          as something to touch

                               when night


has erased every interruption

He reaches

            for each sheet


suspended on thread

           reads lines with a reverence

                                he felt then


A sensation comes

          but he resents every single mark



Novena before Singer Sargent

A desire for the tide

makes me feel guilty.


I’m sorry to want more.

No. Not more. To want less.


I’m sorry to desire the north

when everyone wants south,

the heat of a midday sun.


Give me cold damp granite,  

a salmon thrashing on the rocks,

the lure of a long light night,


a foaming river in a hurry,

the struggling fish –

only water its resurrection.


I’m glad to be alone for now

to sit with ahaul of thoughts

to sift and discard the weary.


I need the promise of a boat 

the swirl of a troubled tide.



Maria Isakova Bennett


Maria lives and works in Liverpool, her poetry and reviews have been published widely in, amongst others, Bare Fiction, Tears in the Fence, Crannog, Envoi, Southword, Orbis, The Interpreter's House, and Manchester Review.

She has been highly commended in the Gregory O’ Donoghue Poetry Competition, shortlisted in the Munster Literature Chapbook Competition, and awarded first prize in the Ver Open Competition judged by Clare Pollard in 2014.

This year Maria has been shortlisted and placed in several Poetry Competitions. Maria collaborates with poet Michael Brown on projects in galleries on Merseyside.