Poetry

I have been writing and performing poems for many years, exploring art, history and the natural world in words. There are many examples on my blog, including my poem ‘Walking the Hills’ which was one of the winners in the WriteScience Competition 2015, organized by the Fun Palaces Festival

‘Flocks of Words’, a poem about the burden of language, won the ‘Imagined Worlds’ competition organised by the Friends of Samuel Taylor Coleridge in honour of the bicentenary of the publication of ‘Kubla Khan’. Imagined Worlds Award

I am collaborating with the award-winning acoustic folk group, Whalebone, on an immersive performance of music and poetry called Flocks of Words. We perform in all kinds of venues – and can provide taster gigs and full ticketed performances. 

My new collection of poems, also called Flocks of Words, is now available from independent bookshops and Amazon UK

‘Using her wide-ranging knowledge of nature, geology, history, legend, art, archaeology, and mythology, Kate Innes creates extraordinarily rich, well crafted poems, at the same time managing to retain a rare delicacy of touch. This is landscape poetry at its best.’
Pauline Prior-Pitt

A Dog lying on a Ledge, 17th century, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford


Sleeping dogs

Anywhere, abandoned
on floor or gravel,
or threadbare rug,
in sun, in shadow,
overwhelmed by need,
like babies
making their own blanket
of warm breath.

Their paws canter
to the muffled woof
at retreating enemies.
A chase on the retina
of the mind played out,
the muscles’ work
in miniature.

We smile, are tempted
to touch and wake,
but let them lie.
Let them snatch
a faster, fiercer life.
Let them dream
the wolf inside.

Infante Felipe Próspero,1659 Diego Velázquez in the Kunshistorisches Museum, Vienna


Infante Felipe Próspero

Notice his eyes first. He is looking at you,
wondering if you pose a threat.
His dog is no protection, lying, as it does,
on velvet like a discarded glove.
His amulets may draw your gaze next.
They hang on golden chains,
and his fingers, white as bone,
play with an incense ball.

Encased in cloth and kept inside,
away from hot light and cold wind,
he is pressed and pinned and prayed for.
Fingered by countless Asturian seamstresses,
who stitched and sneezed and coughed,
fed tidbits from the kitchens where
chefs spat and scullions wiped their noses;
he has no defense.

Behind him blackness gapes,
hiding the throne on which he will never sit.
Even without the sun, a palace has many shadows,
but this boy, already a ghost,
casts none but this.

“Thank you so much for your contribution, and congratulations on a very lovely poem. Personally, I found your last two lines stayed with me for many weeks since you submitted your poem.”

Stella Duffy (co-director of Fun Palaces)

“Just wanted to share our gratitude for the wonderful performance of ‘Flocks of Words’ this afternoon.  Once the event began the atmosphere seemed to change and everyone tuned in to this beautiful, relaxing soundscape.  I will be recommending this to other libraries, it was so refreshing to make a noise within the library building. Hopefully we will plan another soon.”

Ronni Stirton – Shrewsbury Library