Finding The Right Words
Last visit to my friend as she succumbs to ovarian cancer
She is propped up with cushions,
Robinson’s lemon barley water
on a tray beside her,
polo mints spilling from a packet.
I sit on the sofa next to her,
handing her my gift.
She fumbles with the TV remote;
a huge cartoon dog is dashing
across the technicolour screen,
I pass her the silver-framed photo;
the two of us at primary school,
broad grins and NHS glasses,
all gappy teeth and optimism.
She startles as a bird flies into
the window; clutches me tightly…
I draw back, shocked by
her fragility; stick arms like bird’s legs,
breath wreaking of sulphur
What to say next….?
Maybe she senses my hesitance?
Tears well up in her puffy eyes,
once her best feature.
We had a wonderful childhood, she says,
shifting position, catching the remote;
the TV blares, frantic like the cartoon dog.
Shall I make us tea?
My voice is shaky.
She nods, attempting a weak smile.
I fight back the tears, but once in the kitchen
the flood gates open.
Please, just keep going a little while longer…
But I know in my heart of hearts I have to let her go
Maybe this is our last afternoon together…….?
Bios And Links
Margaret has been s/listed for several poetry prizes and won the Hedgehog Press collection competition 2020. She has two poetry collections, a memoir in Haibun form (May 20.) Published online and in print, most recently: Hedgehog Press, The Blue Nib, Impspired, & forthcoming in Sarasvati and Dreich. New pamphlet ‘Earth Magicke’ out with Impspired Press May 2021.
Instagram : meggiepoet
Facebook Author Page: Facebook.com/margaretbrowningroyall
A throwback. This week the literary folk have reclaimed the sunny, grassy environs of Adelaide’s Pioneer Women’s Garden for this year’s Writers’ Week. Five years ago more or less to the day (29 February 2016), Peter Goldsworthy presented a feature session on South Australian poetry, with readings by Aidan Coleman, Jelena Dinic, Jill Jones, Kate Llewellyn, and me. The podcast is still up on Soundcloud: Peter’s introduction (0:17), Aidan (2:40), Jelena (17:06), Jill (28:48), Kate (40:50), and me (53:12). Click here for the PODCAST.
Lucy Dixcart’s impressive debut pamphlet, Faint, covers a range of issues such as motherhood, student life, identity and unrequited love. However what intrigued me most was the originality and the force with which she conveyed her insights into gender power relationships
In the fine poem, Ballroom Dancing for Introverts, these relationships between men and women are aptly symbolised through a ballroom dance. The man leads, he is given control: ‘he steers’ her. Her role is to do as she is told: ‘As commanded, I recline my head in rapture’. There is nothing innate or natural about these roles: they are roles they have been ‘cast’, yet the role for the woman is a distinctly inferior one. She is merely ‘dressing’ and ornament, whilst the male’s role is conveyed through the beautifully apt and inventive image, ‘a wrangler of women’, which conjures up associations of male vitality and control. Significantly…
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Three of my poems were published on the Society of Classical Poets site here. “The Inca Kings,” “The Swimming Lesson,” and “Elegy for Mary” (my sister), were all published last month, but unfortunately I was in a difficult state of mind, thus am late to publish this. Do check them out!
Rachel Eliza Griffith’s poetry has this satisfyingly startling quality at every turn, both highly communicative yet nothing is ever predictable. Her use of language hits on a very personal level and yet we can all feel it, nothing is opaque, her words convey their meaning in devastating clarity. Her most recent book, Seeing the Body (W.W. Norton, 2020), is a hybrid of her own photography with her poetry. An award-winning author of several books, this recent book deals with the death of her mother in 2013.
In an interview with Four-Way Books, her relationship with photography and how that helped her express and come to terms with her grief, and how she ultimately decided this book had to combine both photography and poetry, reminded me of my own turn towards photography in dealing with my own grief. As she put it in the interview, prior to her mother’s death…
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My poem, “The Blizzard of ’96” is in the recently published Blizzard issue of Nightingale and Sparrow. Perfect timing! 😀 My thanks to EIC Juliette Sebock. Here’s a link to my poem, but please do read the rest of the issue, which is available online and in print.
The Mansion She Inherited she lives in a mobile mansion inherited from Hopis in New Mexico built with sugar cane and cinnamon decorated with yellow flyers hanging all over the wall in the dining room blue stairs are one-way only toward Sirius green, two-lane highway toward Orion the curtain, knitted from butterflies’ dream in cocoon […]Three Poems and three Micro-poems by Soodabeh Saeidnia Published in Lothlorien Poetry Journal — Poemedicine
I have a new book of poetry & short stories out on paperback & kindle. It is actually older poetry & short stories. I have 2 other books coming out soon which are older books i’m putting back out on the market with some slight adjustments. Here is the link for my new book. https://amzn.to/2Zp2fSH
Don’t forget to check out my past books: New Disease Streets and The Cartoon Diaries as well as any of the Anthologies we’ve put together at Fevers of the Mind Press.
*Fevers of the Mind Poetry & Art Digest vol 1 June 2019
*Fevers of the Mind Poetry Digest vol 2 In Memoriam August 2019
*Fevers of the Mind Poetry Digest vol 3 The Darkness & the Light November 2019
*Avalanches in Poetry : Writings & Art Inspired by Leonard Cohen
*Fevers of the Mind Press Presents the Poets of 2020 (January 2021)
Kaleidoscopic rainbow men
scurrying through dumpsters
In search of their souls.
They carry the hands of fate
with matching bleeding fate
They succumb to territorialism,
they breathe in tantric manoeuvring
They slit the soldier’s wrist in the green air,
The war air
Bombshells, gun shells
filling up their stomachs with nuclear slime.
Digesting liquified bones
Dreaming in presidential monotone
Picking the hands off the clock
with many shades of plasma and blood
on their claws
Ripping the tock away,
making love to the ticking
Relishing and marinating
in each other’s sexual juices
Lighting a cloud on fire,
then inhaling the ashes
To take in the ultimate high
High as a cloud they exclaim!
As they continue
pulling their amulets and chains
out from under God’s lockbox.
Sepia coloured tombs
being spit at by these loose streetwalkers
These, living in monarchy
dressing in megalomania clothing
They peel whispers out of strangers,
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