Every morning our tabby
 sits beside the grave
 beside the wall
 of her black predecessor
 Our lass and I joke
 she is speaking
 to her ‘grandma’

 My Nana hated cats
 who left “messages”
 in her garden
 “Don’t know how
 people can live
 with cat hair…

 disgusting how people
 let them walk
 on surfaces.”
 She never visited us.

 Cat and Nana never met.
 Their senses failed
 at the same time.
 Eyes, ears, mouth.

 Something told me
 not long after our cat
 went Nana would too.

 Arrived from work
 our cat rigor mortis stiff
 across her armchair.

 Three days later
 I got the phone call.
 Nana had fallen.
 I sat beside her
 hospital bedside.

 Arrived home to find
 a new tabby cat
 who asked me
 to stroke her
 in the way our
 black cat did.

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benefit is never enough
 to feed and clothe

 of getting out
 from under
 of this house

 of laugh and joke
 and good singsong
 with me mates

 of me children
 growing warmer
 and beyond me

 of leaning on
 those living close
 and waiting

 of your kisses
 long as you don’t
 take me seriously

 of you staying away
 what he dunt know
 he can’t hurt

 of these weapons
 to keep me safe
 if he tries owt

 of not another serious
 not yet while there’s
 the full benefit of meself

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a fist in the ear

what she needs
 she pushed me to it
 harder than any squaddies

 and her children
 her little bastards
 that’s what they need

 I’ve told her
 a fist in the ear
 and they don’t
 lack discipline anymore

 they’ve got to tell me
 she’s got to tell me
 where she goes
 what she does
 who she meets

 I’ll not worry then
 will I?

 what she needs
 if she’s off with some other
 I’ll bring a shotgun to her


 Recently rediscovered poem to add to The Place For Breath chapbook. This poem is  Linda’s ex husband’s perspective.

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lake jewellery

under bushes
 around the lake
 todays decoration

 urban jewellery
 silver squashed
 energy drink cans
 crinkly crisp packets
 supped brown bottles on a roll
 down the hill
 where it’s up tails all
 black plastic bin bags
 steaming dogshit droplet earrings
 swing from trees

 pizza boxes fold
 under Hazel and Oak

 a place of recreation
 a place of recuperation
 a pleasant relandscaped walk

 better than dirty, noisy, smelly
 pit and sidings that used to be.

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Proud of who we are

‘Are there any English here?’ a woman shouts to market day shoppers
 in Peel Square before joining
 a bewhiskered chap holding
 large 7 up bottle perfumed with ale.

 Me garden were best on street,
 gorgeous Azaleas, Petunias, Roses.
 Started disappearing. Spotted immigrants across road in rented. Challenged them.

 “You English think
 you own everything!”
 they told us.

 Thirty years down
 mines to get this, cock.
 Thirty bleeding years.
 I own me house, cock.

 “You English think
 you own everything”

 Abroad for a better life
 Abroad for an easier life
 Abroad where we are worth more
 Proud of who we are.

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how far is dark
how dark is

how far
is far

open dark
lift latch

how far is

open latch
lift dark

how far
open latch

how open dark

2.  stops

hear light leave
listen door shut
listen eyes close
listen breath stops

hear leave light
shut door close
stops eyes breath

door breath light
hear shut eyes
listen leave light
close door stops

3.  rests

how light rests
on this skin

rests how
on this skin

not my skin
that light

not light rests
on this skin

that light
this skin


4. hold

this flesh in
skin out

in this flesh
in this skin


this skin out
flesh in

out this flesh
out this skin


5. word

your blood word
is my blood breath
is my word beat

your breath word
is my blood beat
is my word blood

breath needs blood
beat needs breath
blood needs beat

your word breath
is my breath blood
is my beat blood

is my beat breath

6. wood

follow grain

wood line
round not

follow line
grain round

not wood
not follow

wood follow


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