A Discoverie of Witches

Lancaster Assizes, 1612. Ten people from Pendle in Lancashire were hanged, pronounced guilty of the crime of witchcraft. Poems in this book give voice to characters involved in the trials: from the accused to the accusers, from a child who bore witness against her own mother the hangman who carried out his job loyally and efficiently, yet not without stirrings of compassion. This collection also includes several poems set in the Pennine countryside where Blake grew up, as well as the controversial tour-de-force’The Yorkshire Ripper’

  • Hardback  84 pp
  • Publisher  Litfest / Smith Doorstop
  • ISBN  978-1-906613-60-0      BUY ONLINE



Old Witches

The more blind, deaf, lame, arthritic,
hairy-chinned, bowbacked and incontinent,
the greater the power they have.

Their bony hands encircle your wrist,
their lips issue instructions,
Light the oven, let the cat in, sweep the floor,

Fetch that box of potions from my dresser,
and you do, how can you not,
till the day your patience runs out.

Once they were hanged or drowned.
Today it’s more subtle: a pillow when no one’s looking

or an overdose of morphine –
a kindness to them as well as to you.