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. choices 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. [terzanelle]