Tuesday 16 January 2024

Five Poems by Ceinwen E Cariad Haydon

 



Aftermath


Along the path by the railway,
nettles, almost as high as her chest,
nip her arms and pepper pulsing stings 
that zip across her pale, over-wintered skin.

Exposed, she surrenders to pain’s distraction,
relieved to be absorbed by something else,

anything other than him.
She cannot

believe he is gone. The ring-shaped
indentation on her finger ghosts
the form of her wedding band.

If she dared, she’d slice deep and
cut through her epidermis and her chest
to excise her aching heart –

she’d throw it out tenderly
into Spring’s blooming brambles
to catch on thorns, tear and bleed
freely between wild dog-roses –
her lost life fragranted into
fragmentary, sweet perfumes.

As it is, she stumbles on, intact. Soon,
she smells wild garlic and salivates;
she sees vivid bursts of bluebells
flare in pools of sunlight
within darkest woods.

Her senses and her limping limbs
collaborate, to help her live
beyond her loss.

 


Driftwood


Feather-light, wren-shaped,

I kneel, lift you, warm, from Hauxley’s sands.

I screw my eyes tight,
filter out blinding beams of sunshine
reflected on crests of sculling waves.
You curl my fingers round you,
you nestle in my palm
fill my grasp with comfort.

You maintain your mysteries –

what tree, how old, who felled you?
Worm holes pit your etched, transverse lines,
your oceaned grooves worn smooth.

Moved, I raise you, lick you,
run my tongue along your shaft
to delve into your dry core. Salt
tells stories of your sea-scaped travels,
teases my appetite for fish and chips.
A tiny spelk pricks my lips, I spit it out.

You warn, don’t come too close.

You are friable, like me. Have secrets,
like me. What man handled you,
sailed you. Were you painted, varnished
or are you virgin wood – I’ll never know.

If I twist you, will you break –

I’ll never know. Trust me,
I’ll stroke you with a gentle touch.

 

Note: spelk  --  NE – splinter

 


A monkey in silk is a monkey no less


What’s wrong with monkeys anyway –
rather a good monkey than a bad human.

It’s a crazy world, too many xenophobes
who abhor foreign beings,
especially if they’re sleek and agile,
with long, thick tails and sharp teeth to crack nuts.

Weak men fear strength in others
while some women can be fond of childlike apes,
such playful creatures. Laughter breaks up
leisured, humdrum days,
hours heavy with boredom.

Clothes, costumes, rich fabrics:
think about it – if you dress up
you rise to the occasion
realise your potential
appreciate in value,
so don’t mock theatrics.

Remember Howler Monkeys,
Mayan gods – music, art,
all theirs. Next time around,
I hope, I’ll be born a simian infant
fresh-furred or clad in silk.


 

What Do Babies Weigh


What do babies weigh? What do dreams weigh;
are dreams of babies heavier than dreams
of a child-free life. Are women truly free to choose

and then change their minds – or to reinforce their desires
in the sunlight of experience. What do babies weigh,

what does our planet weigh in heavy units of expectation.

What is expected of women; why so much more
than men are burdened with.

                                            Our children belong
to the village that raises them. We are all villagers
and all responsible.

                            The pains of labour, the rupture
of birth, the onward flood of blood -
these invest, enrich all our futures: the energy of everyone

with or without wombs - with or without birthing experience
enhances humanity. Dreams are weightless, babies less so.
Let all embrace the future, and our children's safety. Amen and Salut!

 


Dilemma


More like brother and sister:
close, though maddened
by petty irritations;

their sex-life died
and disappointment
hangs over them like sea frets
on grey, autumn days.

His libido left their house
years ago, to be replaced
by limp innuendos –
like an almost-teen’s greenhorn
jokes, leading nowhere
except to a teasing grin.
A blind alley.

They sleep apart to avoid
sonorous snores.

At seventy, is she crazy
to want more. Her imagination
still zings when her pulse
quickens at night. Undercover

her hand strokes her belly and
her fingers find her clit. Once fired,
her body and mind dance together –
throb, expand and tremble until
they judder; flower in deep
and damp release.

And yet, these precious
midnight feasts
feel lonely.

Should she,
an old woman,
take a lover, or stay true
to old memories

dreams now manifest
alone, in her hands.





Ceinwen E Cariad Haydon, [MA Creative Writing, Newcastle 2017]

Ceinwen lives in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK, and writes short stories and poetry. She has been widely published in web magazines and in print anthologies; these include Northern Gravy, Sylvia Magazine, Ink, Sweat and Tears, London Grip, Tears in the Fence, The Lake and Southbank Poetry.  She is a Pushcart and Forward Prize nominee. Her first chapbook 'Cerddi Bach (Little Poems), was published in 2019 by Hedgehog Press and her pamphlet 'Scrambled Lives on Buttered Toast' is due to be published by Hedgehog Press in 2024. She is developing practice as a participatory arts facilitator, mainly working with elders and intergenerational groups. She believes everyone’s voice counts.

 

 


3 comments:

  1. Very interesting and thought-provoking poems. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Interesting and thought-provoking poems. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I really enjoyed reading your work.It's among the very best I've read in a while.May I recommend that you check out the Destiny Poets on fb.It might be of interest to you.

    ReplyDelete

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