Friday 3 March 2023

Three Poems by Cliff Wedgbury


black scarf


i’m still wearing the black scarf

you knitted for me in 1969

we froze for weeks in unheated bed-sits

reading shelley under thin blankets

two prisoners of love in our own arctic gulag

even in bed we kept our clothes on

and spoke tender words in clouds of

misty condensation


when spring came to hampstead heath

you gave me the cold shoulder

and went off with a boy named justin


so just in case there is the remotest chance

you would ever think of me

across this vast expanse of time

your black scarf

still keeps me warm

when a cold wind sweeps across

the city skyline

and something melts inside my heart

as i remember your cheeky smile

and crooked tooth


by oxford circus

you stand before me

in stunned surprise

becoming more lovely

as recognition

lights your eyes


we parted with remorse

when dark clouds gathered

and winter filled our hearts


but now

as we balance on the curb-stones edge

the traffic a thundering river

we acknowledge that kindly affection

as time suddenly slips away


leaving two flustered actors

rehearsing a restoration play


tea with dad


lost in the heat haze

of a backyard sunday

he would sit and gaze

across a steaming pond

of a china mug


talking in that cheerful way

where truth surfaced easily


as mum hoisted wet white sheets

like familiar sails on a still horizon

Cliff Wedgbury is a Cork based poet, born in London in 1946.

Previous work published in four collections, “Revolutionary Newspapers” and “Eye To Eye” (Three Sires Press) “Kiss” and “A Lingering Adolescence” (Belfast Lapwing).

In 2008 his work appeared in the anthology “Che in Verse” (Aflame Books) He also appears on the Poetry Map of Scotland (poem 197).

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