Poetry Showcase: Ceinwen E Cariad Haydon (March 2023)

Overheard on Sled Lane in Winter

Treading cautiously downhill,
on snow, sludge 
and ice, 
slipping slightly, 

I saw two worn men,
their heads bent toward each other,
strict Covid-metres apart: 
creased brows confiding feelings, 
bald heads, carelessly exposed.

They saw me. 
Nodded, smiled and said hello
in that old-fashioned, courteous way. 
I returned their greetings, passed by, 
heard drifting skeleton-words, 
she was so good to me, when Margaret went. 

Was Margaret his wife?

Was she a friend, lover, neighbour, daughter, 
sister, doctor, carer? Supermarket cashier?

Sparse clues cued my thoughts 
to loss and comfort,
pain and kindness: 


In that country lane, 
three pairs of eyes brimmed,
red-rimmed by cold winds and warm thoughts:
connections, like mycelium, running underground.

Ode to My Pencil

Oh, leaded pencil, with your scarlet rubber
tip held securely in the grasp of your patterned
metal shaft. I found you on a woodland floor,
abandoned, dropped in error by a careless hand.
Their loss, my gift. Each morning, I greet you,
finger your smooth and slender length, before
using you. How I love to feel you as I puzzle
my hard sudoku and quick crossword to launch
the start of each new day. Together, we search 
horizons for dawn’s warmth in new-born hours,
and spot-on answers to fire my sluggish brain. 
One day, we cannot deny, you will wear down, 
get lost or break and no knife or sharpener 
will revive you. Know this, my dear friend,
instrument of comfort, of letters and of grace, 
you will never be forgotten even if in time, 
you are replaced. Until that end arrives, let us 
join forces, work together as I gently chew
your rubber, stroke your lead, 

crease my brow 
                                                                  and concentrate.

Grieving for Great Grandma

I find my chin on her face, sepia 
printed ninety-five years ago, skin bleached
by flash-bulbs. Flares burst melancholia
through my wide eyes. My dormant heart is reached, 
moved by the sight of her, defences breached.
Her curved belly cradles her child, a girl
herself, unwed. Good chapel preachers screeched,
demanded she repent her sin. A pearl 
ring, often fingered, recalled love’s mad whirl
as downcast she listened to God’s judgement
spat from men’s mouths. Her father, not a churl,
tried to take her part, yet gave his consent
for his daughter to be shamed, to maintain
status. Devastated, she went insane.

Partial Synaesthesia

I hear dog roses pulse pink to white left 
to right, flutter in gusty coastal breezes. 
Can perfume pour through ears, sounds 
swim in noses Memories mix, palettes 
of purple, violet and cream smell warm,
of scones, melted butter, sweet jam –
always blackcurrant. I taste green, 
yellow, Granny’s 4711 cologne 
whispered from her skin. 
I touch her 
chapel singing voice, clear, chill
as mountain pools, light as seagulls’
feathers. I see reverberations, 
out of sight waterfalls 
churn, tumble over stones
and tree stumps. My sixth sense 
instinct, jumbles limbic stirrings,
tunes notes
to ice-cream symphonies
while monkey’s blood runs refrains. 
My adult body, taut and worn, 
yields to childhood

dreams of safety. Again, 
my nose hears, my eyes touch, 
my ears see, my fingers taste, 
my tongue smells milk. And I am 
held sated, warm, flooded, damp, at ease.
monkey’s blood – North East term for the sweet, red sauce often squirted on ice cream cones


My age is one of slow weakening:
joints snatch, memory mists, eyes cloud
and senses subside amid streams
of years racing onward,
ever faster past.
I am happy
to be here
to greet

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.

By davidlonan1

David writes poetry, short stories, and writings that'll make you think or laugh, provoking you to examine images in your mind. To submit poetry, photography, art, please send to feversofthemind@gmail.com. Twitter: @davidLOnan1 + @feversof Facebook: DavidLONan1


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