I am a snagged stitch –
I tug my knitting unravelled to shapelessness I am a blunt pencil –
I chew my worn stub taste words I might have written
Disorientated in time and faith
dementia’s eclipse casts over her moon marooned memories sit misted by clouds
her children’s feet approach once more laughter pierces silence she mourns their past innocence
her bladder aches she awaits transfers bed to chair recalls trains canceled or delayed presses her assistance bell again yet clear intent dissolves in floods tickets drenched by bursts of rain seep ink lose numbers eventual invalidation
her vicar’s kind and careful but his doubts smother sunshine shamed disappointments claim his mind yet a toga-pleated goddess hovers by her side and rainbows slip through her muddled soul
her dream-girl walks proud on cross-wires string-taut balance pointed toes steady with belief unlike his lost faith
Wanted: Men for the King’s Navy
Forced against your will
to sign up, sail, spill
blood in foreign waters.
Slaughter, or be slaughtered.
No more cocky pride
clad in frock coats, feathered caps, pantaloons or clean cream gaiters. Your plump chops will hollow, your throat swallow bile.
When the swell’s hiatus tips and dips you down to hell
you’ll pray to drown. Be drawn
to end dread as it churns through
your narrow landsman’s veins.
Yet, likely death will not bless you.
The day will come on this same street, when you will point your pistol, curse
and press your own son.
Ekphrastic after ‘The Press Gang’, Alexander Johnston (1815 – 1891), Ferens Art Gallery, Hull
Ceinwen writes short stories and poetry. She is widely published in web magazines and in print anthologies. Her first chapbook was published in July 2019: 'Cerddi Bach' [Little Poems], a Stickleback by Hedgehog Press. She was a winner in the Nicely Folded Paper Pamphlet Competition July 2019 and her first pamphlet is due to be published 2019/20. She is a Pushcart Prize nominee and has an MA in Creative Writing from Newcastle University, UK (2017). She believes everyone’s voice counts. She tweets at @CeinwenHaydon