Paper Veins

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Between ochre sunset and glittering mirror,
mother and child stand.
Between the two; an elephant, calm as the river
and warm under hand.

The water cleanses the three. Sand squelches under toes.
Small fingers caress the rough nose.
Later, its head and back are donned with rug and cap
of cardamom and indigo.

Plodding down the dusty road, feeling the strains
of the cracked earth beneath.
And all of this frozen within the paper veins
of the leathery leaf.

Forever is the elephant, now fragile and thin,
depicted in brush strokes on silvery skin.

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On an evening train from Welwyn Garden City

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Happy National Poetry Day! 

On the journey back from WGC,
an unusual feeling swept over me:

A sudden peace.
an inspiration increase.

Hatfield, Potter’s Bar, King’s Cross, Milton Keynes,
The Palace of Alexandra, imaginary queen.

Darkness lingers, streetlights join the stars,
flying in lines of light and dark.

Signs of life whizzing by,
too fast to catch with the human eye.

Silhouettes of trees and slatted roofs.
The moonlit water shining dew.

Dad fast asleep with folded arms,
leaving me to my creative charms

Until our stop. Then dad’s awake
and talking just for talking’s sake.

We’re beckoned by warmth, the promise of pie
and my hat’s left behind on the train to die.

Between Seasons

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Happy National Poetry Day! Here’s one I made earlier…

Only dog walkers and shortcut takers
venture in this cold.
A members only club, they gather under
unpopped popcorn blossoms
in their pedigree.
Garish coats of pink or blue pulled
up at the neck, outfits
adorned with whippets and wellies.

This is the weather of suncream and scarves;
white tipped grass sparkling in
the weak sun, gilding every blade,
every branch.
The naked trees reach for the warmth,
but the cool breeze breathes on their fingers,
denied their lifeblood just
a little longer.

Tabula Rasa

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The stylus and the writing tablet;
beautifully crafted, wax on wood,
with thin leather strips to keep the diptych
leaves of Antiquity neat.
And the stylus, carved in bronze, pointed
at one end and flat at the other.
I can imagine them now, out of this glass case
and in the clasped hands
of a young Roman man, scratching out
letters in the grit.
He writes her name, then his confidence wanes
and he scrapes at the wax til it’s smooth again.
He snaps the pad shut.
“No,” he says. “No more.”

The Dressing Table

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This is probably my favourite poem of my collection so far. Based on a line from T.S Eliot’s The Wasteland.

In vials of ivory and coloured glass
the scents of lilac and primrose rests.
The vials stand in order of height
with proud and puffed out chests.

They linger and sicken the fragrant air.
Afore them, pots of rouge.
In pastel pinks: the sugared gloss,
and balms in cherry hues.

An incense stick, long turned to ash
effuses jasmine swirls,
And in the dancing smoke there is
the image of boy and girl.

In pride of place a single rose
lies on the table, petals wilting.
The thorns still sharp and deadly though –
the leaves dark brown and crisping.

The battered photo of a teenage man
nestles in the mirror frame.
The chiselled jaw under beret that
Hides the curls he could never tame.

And on the back of the velvet chair
hangs a kimono of finest cotton.
With floral patterns – in cherry, of course –
and the blossom that’s never forgotten.

Reminiscing

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This poem was created by an exercise in class, where we created a ‘Rhyme Well’ of rhyming words, stemming from the word, ‘fizzing.’ I’ve never written anything like this before, so here goes!

He was a lyrical delinquent:
a cynical, quizzical,
frequently satirical
linguist.
With a flick of the wrist he would
finish and diminish –
or I would relinquish
our bickering. Always
snickering, never
listening.

I’m reminiscing back to a time
in our prime, when we weren’t dissing –
just kissing.
After our fleeting first meeting
it seemed fitting for
dirty messaging – bodies
glistening, mind tingling,
and all whizzing by
in the blink of an eye.

Mediocrity

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This was my first ever attempt at a sonnet. Enjoy!

My pen has never swayed the hearts of men.
It never makes them stop and think awhile,
but still I try, and try over again.
My life lacks sorrows vital for such guiles
as poetic form, a moribund art.
With future generations it will cease
to make a person ponder, weep or laugh.
Though writing is my life and my release,
I realise other paths are safer bets.
I watch them pass me by, and wonder if
the winding path I walk leads to regrets,
but still I wander blindly on. So if
or when my skin folds and my health falls ill,
I’ll be a mediocre writer still.