Daily Archives: December 28, 2016

My Migration by Ceinwen Elizabeth Cariad Haydon

I am not a silent poet

So many goodbyes.

The last kiss on my grandmother’s brow.

Her sad eyes blessed, then cast me out.

In a private garden at the desert’s edge,

his sanctuary. I held him close in

tomorrow’s empty, aching arms.

The pressure of his skin on mine,

my oasis, memorised ’til death.

The fountain cried our tears

when we could not.

My mother’s grave,

fixed forever in my heart.

The place I’d come to talk and play

since my seventh year.

Now, she didn’t answer back.

My father’s tortured outrage

spilt words blood-red.

His pain to lose a son already lost to him;

schooled as he is by creeds

that name his queer boy damned.

My college friend, the only one

who knew the truth at first; that is,

other than my love. My friend

who told me,

‘Go’.

Gave good counsel, made me

see sense. To live, I had to leave.

My…

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Light Blind by Jane Burn

I am not a silent poet

Twenty grandchildren,
eighteen great-grandchildren
and she has never seen any of them.
Blind for forty years,
she can give you a list of all the things
that went wrong with her eyes.
I was greedy she says.
I had to have the whole lot wrong.
Warm woollen hat cramped on
pudding bowl hair, coat zipper
pulled wrong. Her husband
is a tender gnome – handing her
about by her elbow crook. Shepherd,
shuffler, happy walnut, proud as punch
of her. Repeaters, they speak in parallel.

I’m eighty you know.…………..She’s eighty, you know.
Can’t see a thing.…………… She can’t see a thing.
I used to work in a shop, you know.
She used to work in a shop.…….Then I couldn’t
see so well, so I worked in care.……..In care.
Then, I could only see the shape
of their shoulders and face.………
She…

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Take Into Account by Jane Burn

I am not a silent poet

……………………………………..Take into account
where you were born, whether it was into the lap
of fortune, under the boot of terror, in a two up,
two down, back alley place, in the mountains,
the desert, inner city, by the sea.
……………………………………..Take into account
how you were raised, where you went to school – for free,
for fees, or whether school was an option for you at all.
Who your friends were. Who your friends are.
     ..                                                      
……………………………………..Take into account
your unformed heart, your unfilled mind – then begin
to live through history, poverty, strikes, closures, famine,
genocide. Under dictators, under socialism, communism,
Thatcherism, democracy. Under a toadstool. In a ghetto.
Under a mulberry bush.
……………………………………..Take into account
ethnic…

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Sentences To Survive In by Jane Burn

I am not a silent poet

I smile
because I don’t know what else to do
but smile, …………………………………smile
because he told me I seemed as if I was the happiest
lass in the world, how coming here makes his day.
How my fella is a………………………..lucky man.
He smelled of the unkempt dust of loneliness – 
one pint of milk, one apple, one pear.
The lady with thin hair and Tree of Life necklace –
lost her husband.……………………….Cancer,
she mouths, lost her son three months later.
Killed himself……………………………because of grief.
Would have joined them save for the other children
who need her. Lady buying whisky and rolls
for her father’s wake.………………….I’m an only child.
She has to sort everything out – his house
is a mess of papers. Woman
in a blue blouse says her friend just passed.
……………………………………………………………..He phoned me on Monday,
……………………………………………………………..dead by…

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The Blind Man and Eddie by Jane Burn

I am not a silent poet

Tell me the specials, he says, so I do.
Oreo lunch packs, a pound, KitKats, a pound.

Let me feel them. I put them in his palms. Watch
the girder, slap-bang in the middle of the jam aisle.

Where are we? The cheese? I push the trolley –
he stands on my left, his right hand next to mine,

on the bar, warmth passing between, the occasional
touch. Eddie, wearing his pummelled Euripides face,

hips splaying to the onset of age. Harness slung
on his steady frame, wire handle hanging floor-wards.

He has a younger one, at home. Massive – only one
and bigger than him. Paws big as a man’s fist, I bet,

says I. Excuse me, sorry! Excuse me, sorry!
The other shoppers glom the lanes, peevish bison,

crowding for first pick of the bread. Robinsons, three
for two. I can’t place your accent. Where…

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