Poetry & Art “Not Walking” by Phil Wood & Lia Brooks

(c) Phil Wood
Not Walking by Lia Brooks 
inspired by Phil Wood's oil painting of the same name
I came across them in the late afternoon of my body –
five tangled pillars bracing the dream of a calm dusk:

each one in turn, the shape of an idea as if another leaned in 
and painted five tenets into my thinking. And there, 

reaching with deep roots through the marrow of me, beauty, 
so I might find it far beyond and below the lens of my eye. 

The second shimmered as it leapt to freedom like a lilac salmon 
from the current I claim. Next, a spine curving as if I should fall 

but never would, made balanced by the fairness of my palms 
as the fourth sprawled with the honesty of these limbs no matter 

the weather risk or the snap. And then, finally, flashes of storm 
through every vessel in that waiting muscle – clamouring, 

ready, messy and unknowable yet fully known: love 
in its bright hurt; this road beneath me, trees ahead, the journey home. 

Biography: Phil Wood was born in Wales He has worked in statistics, education, shipping, and a biscuit factory. His most recent published collaborative work, with photographer John Winder, can be found https://feversofthemind.com/2022/01/05/photo-poetry-from-phil-wood-poet-and-john-winder-photography/ This current collaborative work was a matter of happenstance: his oil painting inspiring Lia's poem. Phil is a great believer in crossing boundaries, including those between art forms.


Biography: Lia Brooks was born in Epsom, Surrey, to a painter and a map maker, and now lives at the edge of the New Forest with a river beyond the doorstep. She has worked with children and adults for the majority of her working life, and is continuously fascinated by nature and people, and how the two meet and overlap. Her work can be found in Poetry London, Spelt, Mslexia, Agenda and Magma, among others. She has been commended in the Troubadour Poetry Prize, Mslexia's Pamphlet Competition, the National Poetry Competition, and was recently a finalist for the Aesthetica Writing Award.

Photo/poetry from Phil Wood (Poet) and John Winder (Photography)


You emerged
from your pod, humble
with grace.

I was clumsy,
crumbled in faith,
a clay man.

I knelt
to worship, but

and you,
puzzled, you gracefully
swam away. 


She worries over her missing cat,
but tiptoes round the bric-a-brac
of right and wrong. Outside she shivers,
fireworks are fab. She finds the cat.


Not windy, but loud with rain.
Both wellied up, two umbrellas,
his black and hers polka dot bright.
The path puddles syncopation.

The sodden vegetation verbs
pitter patter tip tap pat pit.
A childhood code unlocks first love.
They splash. They splish, splash, splosh!

The Labrador looks quizzical,
but fun is fun. She bounces in.
What does a dog know of why
the world weeps in muddy pools?

3 pieces of work jointly created by Phil Wood (poet) and John Winder (photographer). These pairs of work demonstrate a conversation between poetry and photography. The elements are both individual and interconnected. The conversation between them is layered, implicit and explicit, exists and existed. Boundaries between the media have proved porous with one medium influencing the interpretation of the other. It has been a conversation of rewarding discovery.
The works are entitled “Pod”, “Mesmerized” and “Puddlework”
A version of the poem “Puddlework” was previously published by ‘Poetry in Public’

Bio Phil Wood
Phil Wood was born and lives in Wales. He studied English Literature at Aberystwyth University. He has worked in statistics, education, shipping, and a biscuit factory. He enjoys watercolour painting, bird watching, and chess. His writing can be found in various publications, including: The Wild Word, Autumn Sky Daily, the Abergavenny Small Press, Ink Pantry, Fevers of the Mind.

Bio John Winder
John Winder is a creative photographer working in both colour and black and white. He began creative photography 40 years ago and enjoys trudging around outdoors, hauling camera gear, and spending time behind the camera. He has art work previously published in The Bangor Literary Journal, The Fly on the Wall Press and The Abergavenny Small Press. He enjoys walking, the cinema and sailing.