'Fran Pridham creates vivid domestic landscapes... Weaving through these places are her often painful explorations of emotion and relationships. The poems enter dark territory as they look at transience and our attempts to cope with loss; eruptions of violence, and a sense of the alone. But these are not entirely bleak poems: Pridham writes of hope, of moments of beauty, the leveling common-sense of children and the 'oneness' "sometimes unexpectedly" discovered..."
Air to breathe, water to swim
The sea breathing on the
in deep asthmatic stone filled breaths
like winter breathing,
sucking warmed air
through rough blankets to ease
constant chest pain
and the cough.
Scrubby wind tugged daisies, leaf stripped
the slag and coughed up mine dust;
coal rimmed eyes and blue scars that are
not water washed.
Deep sea diving to swim away
the trapped and
breathless sweat of mining.
Finding no clear sunlit water playing
rock filled bladder wrack pools,
only blocked sewage pipes in the harbour's
Alien suited and spluttering
on the man made gas
bubbles, a reckless wish
to wash life away in alcohol-stained
breathing in of man made lead.
Each cup of tea he makes she leaves undrunk;
she says he cannot even
tie his laces well.
They meet, eat tacos, sour cream and read
papers spread across the table top.
Sunday passers by can glance and through
the steamy cafe's window blur make out
the leather jacket of a man who
the dark hair of a woman move to turn
and call the waitress for a
glass of milk.
Unremarkable and yet she knows
his flesh; it's
which remind her of the oneness that
unexpectedly she can possess.
There's a beautiful poise about her poems, though sometimes they seem almost unbearably sad, and at occasional times almost unbearably happy.