Michelle Diaz has been writing since the late 90s and began her life as a poetry performer in 1998 at The Poetry Café in Covent Garden. She studied English Language and Literature at Manchester University and always had a love of words and a passion for poetry.
In 2009 she had two poems accepted by Live Canon, which were performed onstage in Greenwich. Between 2015 and 2017 she hosted a monthly poetry group in Glastonbury. She also became a Wells Fountain Poet. In 2017, she won 3rd prize in the Mere Literary Festival Poetry Competition. She also began regularly submitting her poetry to a range of magazines with an encouraging amount of success. She has been widely published online and in print and has recently been accepted for several anthologies. She has been part of the open mic at Swindon Poetry Festival, Words and Ears in Bradford on Avon, Trowbridge, Wells Fountain poets. Poetry and a Pint in Bath and many other venues.In 2017 she was the inaugural winner of the Glastonbury Bardic Silver Pen award. She also won the 2018 Christabel Hopesmith NHS Competition judged by Wendy Cope and Lachlan Mackinnon. Her debut pamphlet The Dancing Boy is published by Against the Grain Press.
Without poetry, her soul would be very hungry.
The first night after my father left
my mother lay as if the darkness knew her,
closed herself up inside, became so small
that she couldn’t find alone.
The sky was full of nouns.
She dare not look at the stars,
would not fix her eyes on light.
The night was the belly of a whale.
She was not Jonah.
Nobody came to save her.
Repeat the words –
She could not find where she began or ended.
There was no definition.
The air was thick and black.
Her throat an oil spill.
She delivered her heart like a stillborn
into the mouth of the darkness.
A Birth Journey in Nine Movements
We are en route to Yorkshire.
I stir my latte with a pregnancy test,
it shows up positive.
All the waiters do the Macarena.
My mother finds a Clear Blue box in the fridge –
it is full of eggs.
We have omelette for tea.
The family has never been so together.
I am carried around by four angels
who guard my apple pip cargo,
pump me full of oxytocin,
airbrush the stretch marks.
My body wages war on vegetables,
organic and tinge of green are off the menu.
I am possessed by the Honey Monster,
only pear drops and Jelly Tots will do.
Three weeks to go and somebody has let the bathwater out.
Oligohydramnios. The midwife tells me you’re shrinking.
The sofa becomes a wet grave I bury myself in.
The hospital – I have a bed with a bell,
Mr Doc says Emergency caesarean.
We float round the room like balloons in denial.
Seven days go by – you are still not out,
despite Doctor Patel’s insistence,
despite the letter on serious yellow paper,
despite my dangerously high blood pressure.
I sense we are dying. I am probed silence.
You have been leaked information.
You are not coming.
C-section. They find you. I become Mummy.
The room breathes morphine, the women sweat.
I am in Tenko. The nurse has a moustache.
She withholds pain relief, wheels away precious baby.
A cold star rises above the saline drip,
guards the broken nativity.
My old skin lines the corridor,
the curt nurse picks it up.
Strangely, I cry because you are no longer inside.
Your dad closes the curtain in case they think I am depressed.
I’m not. It’s just that I will never again know such intimacy.