2020 is a Crust

(written Nov 2020)

2020 is a crust

that has formed over me

and muffles my mind in

a foggy shroud of rising numbers

numbed by tepid tea

and wine poured thick against injustice

and meagre human contact.

I long to share a silence

un-cushioned by a squinting screen

to slough this shushed skin of


and pierce my body into freezing water fresh with

glass-sharp thoughts

and words that dart around like silver moonlit fish.

© Charlotte Oliver 2020

Radio 6 Music and BBC Radio York

And in other news, hero of mine Cerys Matthews has read out 2 (yes 2!) of my poems on her Sunday morning 6music show. I nearly fell over both times. And she said to keep them coming…So I’m going to!

My lovely friend and ace DJ Bek Homer invited me onto her BBC Radio York show to choose my ‘3 by the Sea’ – a place, item and song which remind me of the coast. Being a Scarborian, I naturally chose the patch of beach outside the chalets on North Bay, AKA my happy place. Song was Galveston by Glen Campbell which brings back so many memories of Friday night journeys from South Yorkshire to Filey, listening to my parents’ Country Sundown tape. My object was a hot dog, to represent Hot Dog Thursdays, when we all get into the sea with our dear friends the Cummings, body board until we are frozen then we eat too many hot dogs and drink beer. Happy times!

The Pets Factor Interview

Here’s the link for an interview I did for Northern Soul magazine with Cat, the lovely vet from CBBC’s The Pets Factor. Given that my 10 year old is a super-fan as well as aspiring vet, it made sense to involve her and, boy, did she come up with some corking questions?! My personal favourite – ‘What is the strangest thing you’ve pulled out of an animal?’. Anyway, Cat was a delight and daughter is even more firmly fixed on becoming a vet, so an excellent result all round.

Poetry Commission for BBC Radio York

It’s been another quiet month of lockdown but I did have a lovely commission from BBC Radio York to write a poem to celebrate their Make a Difference campaign which connects people who need help with the huge numbers of people offering help across North Yorkshire. The launch day involved a chat with the excellent Georgie Spanswick on the Breakfast Show as well as some lovely comments from friends and strangers. You can see it here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p08g4l2v