Friday 10 March 2023

Four Poems by Susan Wilson

Aerial Views

With a name that matches his appearance,

he can handle a radio wave, if you let him.

He speaks VHF, it’s old but its 405 lines

could bend a message around any corner

in a Welsh Valley or a Scottish Highland.

He came here when this chimney smoked

and tiny televisions wore outsized cabinets.


H, do you hear me? I know that he does,

the dual standard receiver saw to that.

Bolt solid, his expression never changes

while I turn on the whims of the wind.

My UHF tongue stretches to lines of 625

and we worked together from 1964 –

that v-shaped lad downstairs was speechless.


In 1952 “H” meant “historical first” as in

national wireless television transmission,

replacing earlier efforts with fewer lines.

When I joined him life was black and white

but I was able to colour it in from 1967.

After that television sets moved in everywhere

and “H” and I watched it all from here. 


“H” speaks with reverence of a Scotsman,

a brilliant inventor and pioneering engineer

who created not only television back in 1925

but many other technologies enjoyed today.

I think the inventor’s name was Yogi Bear.

Sadly, VHF’s transmissions ended in 1985

with the irony of its last days being in Scotland.


Progress has left us here on this roof

and learned more sophisticated languages

like cable, satellite, digital and broadband,

though UHF is still spoken in digital circles,

albeit with a much better accent.

“H” is crackling at me: Stooky, you idiot,

it wasn’t Yogi Bear, it was John Logie Baird!


It’s My Turn to Learn

I’m travelling round and round and up and down

         hear the organ piping

         carousel is turning

The horse will run its course no matter what

         cast upon a circuit

         I don’t have to like it

I’m looking at the faces passing by

         haven’t I just met you?

         I’d like to forget you

I want to get away from voiceful hurts

         characters that scratch me

         others try to catch me

The faces change the conflicts stay the same

         purse of gathered memories

         just avoid the enemies

The anger and resentment make no sense

         different faces same look

         digging with a sharp hook

The ups and downs of life bring joy and tears

         lessons on a life ride

         but I’m crying inside

And when you think you’ve finally worked it out

         then the ride is over

         and your life is over....


Trailing Links

My chain has been severed from security and I am condemned.

We were bound together but she joined another.

I walk links trailing into the sunlight, no shadow of responsibility,

my bones splintering under freedom’s burden.

I confess my sins of loyalty and dedication and offer up my trinket,

pleading the present’s mercy upon my lonely soul.


Mira Doesn’t Live Here Anymore

Mira doesn’t live here anymore.

I did send you a written notification, didn’t you receive it?

Oh I see, it must have got lost. Never mind.


Mira doesn’t live here anymore.

Yes she passed away in the hospice.

You wouldn’t have seen her much that year.

She couldn’t go out at all.

She’s fine now, no more suffering.


Mira doesn’t live here anymore.

She moved out unofficially in October

but she used to pop back from time to time, which was nice.

She moved up to Heaven just over a year later.

Sorry but I don’t have the telephone number.


I wish I did. I’d love to speak to her again.


Susan Wilson lives in East London and began writing poetry following the death of her mother in 2017. Her poems have been published by Lucy Writers, Snakeskin, Runcible Spoon, Dreich, Areopagus, Streetcake, Rue Scribe, Amethyst Review and Lothlorien. Prior to the pandemic she was a regular performer at “Spineless Authors”, a local open mic event. Her debut chapbook is “I Couldn’t Write to Save Her Life” (Dreich, 2021).


  1. Thank you for these thought provoking and lustrous works -- so original and powerful.


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