After the Silent Phone Call

By Wendy Holborow



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Sample Poems

After the Silent Phone Call

i.m. my parents, Lynn and Dwynwen

After the silent phone call
our daughter dries my tears,
paper lanterns litter our lives.
My son pyramids used teabags.
A wintry sun throws prisms
on the pair of terraria
planted with ivy and African
violets - violence shadows my prison.

Princess purrs to newly-borns
in the shower-tray, despatching me
to wallow in the bath.
A storm swallows the light,
bulls bellow its arrival, ducks
& geese in serried rows
hypnotised by the storm's eye,
grey mare merges into greyness
of fegged rain-soaked field.
Cowering dogs return with nonchalance,
with unconditional love as calm
is restored. I vainly count
days not to be crushed
in the house at the
end of the axle-breaking track.

Walking in walled autumnal gardens,
trees like antlered animals rear
into the sky. Gathering fruit
for wine, sloes for gin,
inebriation sets in. I forage
for mushrooms, the magic ones,
imagination soars, friends, fairy-tale end.

Carelessly, people slip through craquelure
in paintings of imagined lives.
Great clouds plough straight furrows,
confront coffins at open graves.
Lynn's smoking extinguishes his life.
Dwynwen (Welsh goddess of love),
her chocolate heart cracks, flakes
and Fiona is brutally murdered.
(I wish I'd told her
of the solitary snow-drop
that grew on the grave
of the dog she loved.)

Sample poems

Winter Postcards from Corfu

Sunday, and the first rains of Autumn.
A slaking thirst for Wales
which nothing can quench.

Clutched into the past
the words on my father's LPs
catch on fish hooks
in my throat.

I hunger for the cadences
of my language,
long for viridian-rivered valley walks,

but I must knit time,
needles pivotal for motion
like my mother clicked her way
through the threads
of her own threnodies.

On days like this I want to kick
the island from under me like
a suicide kicks the stool.

snuggled between two summers,
submerged beneath blankets and quilts,
as dark clouds bank for rain,
sky, like blue-black ink,
and a storm bellows.

January, a yellow month -
soft light on mainland mountains.
Lemon trees laden with new fruit,
and mimosa racemes raised by breezes
sweep cobwebs from the sky.



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