all poems previously published in Rhythm N Bones Lit Issue 6: Love
Anna breathes safely
in the low-lit break-out room.
Candles, scented rose and musk,
embrace her like a lover.
Feel free - to take time out
For the first time ever since
that time, you know, yes,
that one, only one of many
but the first the worst.
Later, she learnt absence,
to distance her from him
from her body-self
Feel free - to take time out
She hugs herself and strokes
her scarred arms. Re-joins way-back
to here-and-now and times ahead.
and comes back in.
Possessedafter The Air Suddenly Goes Cold, music by Olafur Arnalds
by the moon goddess
she stands in whiteness
her light translucent skirts swirl
in gathering ice-breezes
her three faces
crystalline and still
I am afraid of her beauty
afraid of the chill her shade casts
over my bed my body and my mind
as all becomes her
all becomes white
her hand beckons
and I follow mesmerised
I am finished
I am no longer I
I vanish into her
drawn through her six stark apertures
void of human eyes
Woman as Anchor, Taken for Granted
She dwells under currents of motion,
waves whipped up by restless children,
her partner's parries with the world.
She steadies their long-ship home
tethers it to herself, irrespective of the cost.
The others don't look down, see below.
They cast easy thank yous - when they remember,
small comfort to her freighted soul.
Over time, her metal rusts and she transforms
converts to a lighter feral frame.
Her final frantic storm, cuts her rope.
Salted by all weathers she drifts away
free at last to roam.
Poems from the Fevers of the Mind Anthologies by Ceinwed E Cariad HaydonPoem by Ceinwen E Cariad Haydon : Release from QuarantineA Poetry Showcase for Ceinwen E Cariad HaydonPoems from the Fevers of the Mind Anthologies by Ceinwed E Cariad Haydon
I lie in warm places on prickled turf,
stare up into cyan skies, drift and gather wool.
I swim in cool streams, bob in currents,
surf downstream. I discover waterfalls,
take fresh showers, bathe in ponds
and rinse smeared grease
from my mind’s grimed pane.
By the River Tyne
Mist drizzles low light grey.
Her cable-stitched, black beanie
absorbs damp from the cold air,
and from her curly, silvered hair.
She’s walked five miles, briskly –
intent on keeping warm. Her gloved hands
touch rough-barked trunks of bare trees.
Her eyes follow waterfowl and other creatures.
Her feet take her familiar path without question.
She rambles each day, with few surprises
and great pleasure, wandering in all weathers.
Her trips keep hope alive, in Covid times:
help her lose herself, mentally meandering.
Splash! Splash! Splash!
Startled she swivels, boots grating on gravel.
A swimmer, today … surely no one would.
She stares, a dark mound rises, disappears.
Is this someone on the edge, who’s had enough...
She holds her breath, hears asthmatic wheezing: sees
another rush of spray, another brash and reckless Splash!
A honk, a prima-donna roll, a reel around in circles.
Then all is still. She bends her head. Blessed.
A cyclist passes on the dual track, Guess what,
she shouts at his back, I’ve seen a seal, today.
He nods, and rides away to somewhere else.
Your face shines through glass,
dazzles my eyes. Still waiting
for lockdown to end.
Time difference synced:
spare words pulse love’s overflow.
Transatlantic voices crack.
Birthday party plans.
Mama, will Granny come round?
Mama, is she cross with me?
Your brave doorstep smiles:
your stoic words say you’re fine,
your lips tremble otherwise.
Music makes her cry.
Memories of hugs and smiles –
ghosts echo absent comfort.
Long allotment days
return with nesting swallows.
Gardeners drink distanced toasts.
Your pearl-cast eyes look outwards
into dark glass, no-one looks back.
Your flared skirts fray, stray threads
spool away. Your thin-soled shoes,
tread on snowy pavements, seep ice
into your veins. Your tor’shell comb
claws and scrapes your hairless scalp
lined with raised scars from falls.
Your hand trembles, finds mine.
You kindle my love, find my warmth.
Your mind regains my lost focus
in the long-shared space between us.
Last March a yellow crocus caught my eye,
and balmy winds sprung dreams of summer days.
I didn’t snap its beauty on my phone,
I believed better blooms would follow.
By Easter, old tiles had blown off my roof,
grim clouds smudged sun’s rays clean out of my mind.
I thought I’d use lockdown to clear my mind,
create new furnishings soft on the eye.
On grey days, water found holes in my roof
and my intentions proved hard to follow.
Yellow crocus yearnings mocked many days,
I wished I had an image on my phone
I wasted time, doom-scrolling on my phone,
until despondency silted my mind.
Concentration fled, no lead to follow,
distracted by whatever snatched my eye.
Yellow crocus’s absence grimed my days
and dust settled, blown through my hole-strewn roof.
Nightly, I stargazed – used gaps in my roof
to capture yellow flowerings on my phone.
Astral blossoms, crocus ghosts, softened days.
Gentled, I reassembled my sad mind –
started to notice, wipe tears from my eyes,
reached out, touched, saw loving kindness follow
Our old maps are now useless to follow,
I must hone new skills, learn to mend my roof.
Resilience requires a steady eye,
I’ll record my progressions on my phone
and limit news-scrolling that wounds my mind.
Yellow crocus’s inspire hope these days.
Fierce times have coursed through this last year’s long days,
now another spring will burst and follow.
Yellow crocus’s grow, light up my mind.
Soon I’ll mix with friends beneath my good roof,
we’ll leave Zoom behind, arrange dates by phone,
value fine treats nature gifts to our eyes.
Flowering days with a watertight roof,
support hope to follow. Pics on my phone,
nudge my mind, but never replace my eyes.
Bio: Ceinwen E Cariad Haydon [MA Creative Writing, Newcastle, UK, 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 and is a Pushcart and Forward Prize nominee. She is developing practice as a participatory arts facilitator and believes everyone’s voice counts.