June Poetry Showcase for Ceinwen E Cariad Haydon

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 from social work, she is developing practice as participatory arts facilitator. She believes everyone’s voice counts.

On Different Pages

She took hours, no days,
searching for the perfect
tome, for him. Her gift 
to her love, for Christmas. 

After Bucks Fizz, croissants
and coffee, they exchange
their presents. He whoops
with delight. She tears

the cheap wrapping paper
to reveal a hairdryer,
(she already has two).
I thought you might,

he says, smarten up.
Now I’ve got promotion.
She excuses herself, leaves
him deep in his book.

The End.

Going Back

Exhausted, she lies down on the forest floor
careless of pricks from pine needles.
Her laboured breathing calms. In sleep
she smiles, restored into her lover’s arms.
Her dreams carry them both through stratospheres,
mercifully freed from her flawed mistake, 
melded back and unified. Here, her betrayal 
is forgiven, laid to rest, at last. Trust’s fed, 
and step by step regrown. Nestled 

on winter’s iron ground, grass-frost 
freezes her from head to toe. Rime 
glazes her clothes. Hypothermic, 
she cannot move, cannot hear 
her darling’s calls to her
as they ricochet around 
the steep valley walls.

After the Storm

Downcast eyes track trudged-up mud paths,
precipitation’s aftermath. Gaze up, 
sunshine’s fresh rays jewel rain into sparklers.

Dreary vistas, dun and mizzled, are bathed 
in crystal light, reborn and dazzling.
Sunshine’s fresh rays jewel rain into sparklers.

Downpours soak those who brave outdoors,
winds blow clouds apart in circles. Rainbows arc,
sunshine’s fresh rays jewel rain into sparklers.

Empty Kennel

Lone Ranger, a proud Alsatian,
we got him as pup. He was always
yours, even though I fed him,
bagged up his shit on long walks.
If I shut my eyes, I hear your voice,
Rangie, Rangie, here boy. Usually
he came back quickly, thankfully.
He wasn’t chipped like dogs today.
When you left me, I lost him too. 

I still dreamt of Ranger, not so much
of you. Tonight, your number flashed
up on my mobile phone, I prepared 
to hear his friendly growl. He’s dead,
you said, a growth. She doesn’t get it,
I know you will. Can you forgive me?

Shifting Sands

On soft sands, footprints soon fill with salt water,

clear marks soon squidge and disappear.
Sundown’s light plays across the beach, 
torches memories, renewed into brief flares.
Clear marks soon squidge and disappear.
Faint eyes shine smiles then trail into mists,
warm memories renew in brief, bright flares.

On soft sands, footprints soon fill with salt water.

Brain Gym Workout in Old Age

I only do hard sudokus,
run by Guardian-Observer newspapers
Thursday through to Sundays.
Monday to Wednesday’s easier grids leave me cold,
so I welcome every Thursday, eager 
to be challenged, once again. Then, gravely
I remember I’m another week
nearer to death 
and I’m wishing my days away.


sculling with both oars
relentless activity
on work’s rough-watered river

or skiving inert through lockdown days
perchance to dream 
and find another way to be

unprecedented times
I never thought I’d have this option
space to write 
break free

can I land my battered craft   
by a sloping bank
lie back and muse

find words to hymn the sky 

Longing for Ross Sands, Northumberland

Landlocked by another lockdown,
I fret for sand between my toes.
Landlocked by another lockdown.

In dreams, waves billow, spray and blow
saltwater on my wrinkled skin.
I fret for sand between my toes.

Sanderlings paddle, lure me in
to freeze my feet in North Sea joy,
saltwater on my wrinkled skin.

Seaside ramblings will never cloy,
I’ll wade and dance in rippling surf,
to freeze my feet in North Sea joy.

I pray before I leave this earth,
landlocked by another lockdown,
I’ll wade and dance in rippling surf,
freed up from my final lockdown.

New Poems from Sadie Maskery


should I say that the sound 
of your name on another's lips 
is the thinnest blade -
ice, or spun sugar -
gently penetrating some small
secret casket, a neat trick,
I am a magician's doll
pierced by syllables,
or should I say
that your bone and muscle
shaped through shirt,
collar askew, make my
sinews sing ecstatic
despairing songs - should I say
the shadow of your cheek
makes my heart groan 
with desire or should 
I say, 'Hullo, been a while,
Nice to see you,' and smile.


It wasn't that he didn't tend his plot.
Each day he would sit in the office,
letting insults sink into his skin
with a smile; process data,
the numbers reflected in his eyes.
Each evening he would dig
the bare ground, until ten. In summer
the sun would bleed into dusk
over his spade patiently turning the sod.
In winter, the starlit street would be still
except for, behind the dark hedge,
the steady thunk and grind of earth 
twisted and replaced. No seed.
No green shoot or delicate tendril.
No fruit or wriggling worm to tempt the birds 
that watched in silence each rolled clod.
No song. 
Just his foot pressing down, a ceaseless 
shovelling, in rain, snow, baking heat.  
Remorseless rhythm resonating, the 
driving in, the heave, the brace, 
turn at the fulcrum, release, wetly slice
or shatter in dust, he knew the underflow
below his blade, he felt its tug. He dug.
Patient. Things buried deep by time's tide
became flotsam, he dug. He dug. He dug.
Small things would clink against the steel. 
He would bend, pick up a shard of white, 
a grey rag, something decayed 
but persisting faintly in his palm.
At the office sometimes he would hold
an oddment still smelling of earth.
Smile. Squeeze it to shapeless clay.
Stare at the screen. Wait patiently
to dig again.

Bio: Sadie (@saccharinequeen)
Sadie Maskery lives in Scotland by the sea with her family.  Her writing will be found in various publications both online and in print, and she can be found on Twitter as @saccharinequeen where she describes herself, optimistically, as "functioning adequately ".