Tuesday 7 June 2022

Five Poems by Ceinwen E. Cariad Haydon


Woodland Walk Before Beltane

Mud slides underfoot. Recent rain,
saturated ground, shifts balance.
between soil and surface water.
Sunshine gleams on oily, raised roots,
kaleidoscope shades mislead sight.
Spring begins: sprouting fresh-grown life.

Lichen on felled trunks greens life
from death. Mulched air’s sluiced clean by rain.
Pushing, pulsing changes lure sight
to bobbing, blooming bulbs – balance
winter-sleepy feet over roots.
Clouds scud reflections in water.

Forestry ruts channel water,
downhill. Midges agitate, swarm,
nip necks and earlobes. Fisted roots
push fingers down to suck up rain.
Woodland life thrives in fine balance,
humans tread paths to redeem sight.

Gorse coconuts noses, lights sight
and flares. Swans skim over water,
assess sites for nests. Reeds balance
like dancers, welcome signet life.
Jays squawk high above falling rain,
peck insects from knotted, earthed roots.

Blackbirds and robins land on roots,
and sing. Throats throb, mist my eyesight.
Fungus shelves ancient beeches. Rain
courses down, fills boots with water.
I’m moved by rapid-cycling life:
watch swaying treetops lose balance.

Walking in woodland shifts balance,
restores my faith, renews my roots,
overcome by abundance. Life’s
force moves scales from my weary sight.
Green-bathing slakes thirst. Sip water
and warmth from sunshine, wind and rain.

I seek balance: trees steady sight –
feet miss trip-roots and deep water.
Death anchors life, sun sparkles rain.

Abandoned Mines, Hebden Fells

We took a new path, to avoid flooded stepping-stones;
it soon faded. Hummocky mounds proceeded to turn
our ankles as we gained height and swept our eyes over
hillsides and valleys richly coloured in after-storm sunlight.
You chose this moment to voice impatience with our life;
said, we should have picked out other routes. I kept looking
at the view; anything but show you I was wounded. I feared
you’d wanted out, for ages, I’d hoped, in time, to make you
change your mind. On the summit, winds got gusty; hearing
each other’s words became impossible. Descending down
craggy steepness in stinging sleet, I mis-stepped and swayed.
You didn’t falter. You caught me, saved me from falling.

The kiss you planted on my tired mouth, refreshed your love.
Too late. Already I’d pulled back from you, for safety’s sake.



Horizontal rain fell for days,
confined inside our tempers flared.
Drumming drops cancelled voices raised,
we swore when once we’d laughed and shared

Confined inside our tempers flared.
Desperate, we ventured up a claggy hill,
we swore when once we’d laughed and shared.
Your glasses streamed, I slipped and fell.

Desperate, we ventured up a claggy hill,
we hoped to find beauty in wild weather.
Your glasses streamed, I slipped and fell,
you slid on, at the end of your tether.

We hoped to find beauty in wild weather,
to end this sad, bad-tempered phase.
You called time, at the end of your tether.
Horizontal rain fell for days.


Now, I Know Better

I have stopped burning damp, unseasoned logs,
spreading particulates, poisoning the air.
I didn’t realise, I was harming lungs,
harming our planet. I have stopped
firing spiteful words, brutalising
both of us. I didn’t realise I was
denying our lost love a decent
burial. Merely accelerating
putrefaction in shared
spaces. I have


out of puff

once I blew bubbles
oil-coloured orbs
that floated
my heart
and eyes
my breath
fails to inflate
suds to fly high
I’ll have one last try
think of my childhood
hopes bubble in my mind

Ceinwen E Cariad Haydon (MA, Creative Writing, Newcastle University, 2017). Ceinwen lives near Newcastle upon Tyne, UK and writes short stories and poetry. She is widely published in online magazines and in print anthologies. Her first chapbook is 'Cerddi Bach' [Little Poems], Hedgehog Press, July 2019. Post-retirement she is developing practice as participatory arts facilitator. She believes everyone's voice counts.


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