So pleased with this great review of Workhouse to Westminster on Open Democracy, and reproduced on Radio Free. And we hear there’s another in this month’s copy of the The House magazine. We are impatiently awaiting our copy…
My longstanding project to self-publish a collection of my poems rumbles on. Progress has been made, in the form of buying ISBN numbers. And since you can only buy them ten at a time, I thought why not aim higher than only publishing my poems.
I stared at the register in consternation. Can this be? Seriously? That someone has the same — the very same! — signature as me. (Save for her flourish over the ‘i’ to my squiggle through the ‘t’.) It’s uncanny. Three months on and I’m off to meet her at the railway station. Hmmm. I wonder: should I have taken a precaution, and hidden my banking information?
I see her
being stung by the bumble bee
on the windowsill she
was told not to play with.
Then chicken pox, being sick.
Drinking warm water to fix her tummy –
Shutting the door to her room
to keep the monsters out.
Waking up in the night to find
her parents not about
and the lady next door there instead.
That little boy at nursery
over one eye: I’m a pirate!
Scrambling over the wall towards
the field at the bottom of the garden.
In her red shorts, J’ai pas d’culotte
Led back into the house,
getting dressed not quite mastered yet.
The swings at bluebell time:
a neighbour with long curly hair
and armfuls full of them. Was it legal then?
Louise and her red wellies.
Being allowed in the tractor.
Winnie the Pooh on the radio, sat
at the table near the window
site of that bee attack.
Mousey the pony trotting off
with a shrieking cousin on his back.
First school day, at lunch,
assigned to an older girl: Would you like seconds?
my confused look at the clock.
Barboured and booted against another wet day,
chatty and helpful he led us away.
He pointed to a landmark we’d already seen
on a part of the walk where we’d only just been.
A mile or so darker our footsteps (re)traced
the consequences of good sense, sadly misplaced.
All because we couldn’t quite make ourselves say
how we weren’t quite sure this was quite the right way.
Suggested definitions of Barbourimp welcome!
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