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.
I walk out of my west-facing back door,
surrender to blustery winds soaked in sunned warmth.
Breezes snatch my blue batik dress by the hem
and my cream harem pants billow like sails propelling
swift schooners on high seas. My skin flushes, sheens salt-sweat
by the time I skirt the village green. Summertime swirls,
wraps me round with dancing butterflies, lifts my mood and ears
with tapestries of birdsong. I stop clenching my jaw, grinding
my teeth. I breath full and deep for the first time in two weeks.
My itchy feet find a cadence, a match for my release. I wander
in the waiting world, neighbourly and new, glimpse paths to explore
and streams to leap. Full-leafed trees rustle and sway
gifting gentle shade.
I inhale, smell wild garlic to gather,
seasoning for tonight’s al fresco tea. I grin. Bluebells nod to me
and welcome solitary bees.
Ceinwen lives near Newcastle upon Tyne, UK and writes short stories and poetry. She is widely published in online magazines and print anthologies. Her first chapbook, ‘Cerddi Bach’ [Little Poems], was published in July 2019 by Hedgehog Press. Her first pamphlet is due to be published in December 2021. She is a Pushcart Prize (2019 & 2020) and Forward Prize (2019) nominee. She holds an MA in Creative Writing from Newcastle University (2017). After a career in the public sector, she is now developing practice as a participatory arts facilitator. She believes everyone’s voice counts.
From Depression Into Light
On the day, her black dog died,
she emerged from limbo
and finally her partner
dispersed his old lies.
Caught by her resurrection,
the light within her knowing eyes,
he came clean. Too long,
according to his own needs.
Humbled by her courage,
he lay marrow-rich bones
before her blistered feet.
liquid bubble wrap
too soft for popping
aqueous viscous soup
squishes around each nucleus
to nourish fresh divers ideas
inside my cranium floats
eggs in waiting pure potential
more dreams and aspirations
than will ever swell to live a life
destinies foreshortened and forlorn
yet in the seething swirling swamp
swim thoughts strong-minded fit
destined to develop and survive
they mature sprout heads and legs
ready to fledge and spread gauche gifts
zany bright through not completely wise
Your sun sinks,
Liquid iron cools hardens
today's furnace greys out.
Tonight, dusk's knives file my brain,
grim ghosts come out to play.
Will they walk or race like you
away? Leaving poisoned plasma
deep in inflamed membranes -
marked thin tissue
scarred, last obsolete remains
of my sunburnt mind?
Still, silvered limbs caught open,
press up, tease sky-floss clouds.
Thirsty for moisture,
held buried deep
beneath thick-barked skin.
Coppiced trunk-legs part
unashamed, reveal a perfect V -
a brave inverted apex,
viridian vulva, vaunted
yet veiled -
covered in green lichen
dark, damp moss. Strands
encircle my outstretched fingers
remind me of my age and arid loss
Ceramic up-lights, wall mounted,
cup thin, lucent air in Mother's empty room.
Vacant, threadbare chairs,
piled high with unread books, nestle up
agin long tapestry curtains. Folds
backlit by swallowed sunshine.
I, her hated daughter,
try to push her darkness back
with overwhelmed and guilty heart.
French windows - bolted, brass locks
cold to finger, give onto weed-thronged gardens.
I snatch both handles, flout creaks
to fling them open-wide. Frantic,
I find mops, cloth and bucket
run water from seized taps,
sluice dust and slime away,
clean deep through seams of tension
into crisp, clear orphaned days.
Bio from 2020:
Ceinwen lives in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK. She writes short stories and poetry. She has been widely published in web magazines and print anthologies. Her first chapbook was published in July 2019: 'Cerddi Bach' (Little Poems), Hedgehog Press. Her first pamphlet is due to be published in 2020. She is a Pushcart Prize and Forward Prize nominee (2019) and has an MA in Creative Writing from Newcastle University, UK (2017). She believes everyone's voice counts.