Ultrasonics by Becky Cherriman, from her New Poetry Pamphlet, Echolocation

For Valentine’s Day, the beautiful, previously unpublished poem, Ultrasonics by Becky Cherriman taken  from her new poetry pamphlet, Echolocation.


Every so often a cloud manifests above Mount Fuji
in the perfect shape of a conical hat or sugegasa,
every so often an evolutionary mutation creates a new species
or two dominant follicles are produced
— one from each ovary.

Knowing this, we plod along hand-in-hand,
talking it through.

Someone has built a stile so we can slide down
a muddy path into unknown woods.
Do we clamber over
or do we stick to the concrete —
that tired world of pressed linen and paperwork?
Come on, I’ll help you over,
no need to be afraid —

this place has been trodden before;
see the prints of deer hooves and bird claws?
Besides, even out here, you don’t have to listen hard
to catch the birr of a car
or a lawnmower’s drone.
If only everything else
would fall away
and we could watch, for hours,
the water that refracts
through branches
to drop
in crystals
on the lake.
We’d play at making love from chaos
till it’s time to go back,
over the stile to the farmers’ market

where we’ll buy a Romanesco broccoli
to marvel at its fractals and improbable existence.

Becky Cherriman, ‘Ultrasonics’, Echolocation, 2016

Echolocation is published by Mother’s Milk Books and is Becky’s first pamphlet, in which she explores single motherhood, infertility, the adoption process and more. You can order copies here.  

Her first full collection is due out late in 2016 with Cinnamon Press.

Words in MOTIION-19

Becky Cherriman is a writer, workshop leader and performer based in Leeds.  Published on umbrellas, by MslexiaNew WalkEnvoi, Mother’s Milk, Bloodaxe, Well Versed and in Poets For Corbyn, she was resident poet for Morley Literature Festival in 2013.  Her work has been translated into opera, film, art and into Italian for the socialist magazine Internazionale.

After thirteen years as a workshop facilitator, she works regularly for a number of key organisations and charities and is well-respected locally for her work.

A current collaboration is Haunt, an Imove commission, working with writer Steve Toase and people experiencing homelessness.  The Hepworth Wakefield, The Rotunda Museum, Humbermouth Literature Festival, Imove and Grassington Festival have all commissioned her writing in the past.  Much shortlisted in competitions, Becky’s poem First Date was runner up in the Yorkshire Open 2013.  Poems Namesake and Paisley Quilt won first prize for The Speakeasy Open 2012 and second prize in the Ilkley Literature Open Mic 2011 respectively.

Becky has recently embarked on a series of weekly blogs focusing on a different inspiring mother: Mary Woolstonecraft, mother of feminism and Mary Shelley; Michelle Pfeiffer, adoptive mother; Margaret Garner – protective mother/murdering mother; Indira Gandhi – political mother; Kate Bush – singer-songwriter/strange mother; Marie Curie, scientist mother.

Becky’s website is www.beckycherriman.com

Becky’s photo is courtesy of Bryony Pritchard. The original cover image for Echolocation was taken by Jane Cardie at Whitby in July 2012.


Nottingham Launch of poetry pamphlet, Echolocation
Date: 24th February
Time: 7- 8.30 pm
Venue: Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham
Entry: £3
Details: fiveleavesbookshop

The Leeds Big Bookend Launch of poetry pamphlet Echolocation with Michael Brown, author of Undersong
Date: Sunday 28th February
Time: 2-3 pm
Venue: Hyde Park Book Club, Leeds
Details: bigbookend.co.uk/events

Four Big Splashes with, Becky Cherriman, Ian Harker, Tom Weir and Tom Kelly
Date: Thursday 3rd March
Venue: Headingley Library, Leeds
Time: 7.15 pm ; Entry: Free; Details: http://www.headingleylitfest.org.uk/topics_pages/poetry.html

BC Echolocation front cover scaled






Fiona Gell

Fiona is a lifelong reading enthusiast and book lover. Her career started as a bookseller and has never really veered away from the written and spoken word. It was a dream for her to be a founder member of The Leeds Big Bookend and the Northern Short Story Festival. She continues to be its Director.

You may also like...