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A COLLECTION OF POEMS BY EILEEN EARNSHAW


Wonderful, multitalented freelance writer and performance poet Eileen Earnshaw has shared a collection of her previously unpublished poems.

Bottles

The moon rises,

Winds blow, we collide

skittering into gutters,

piled into corners under hedges

blocking drains.

Cleansed by rain, the elements

can’t destroy us

our colours do not fade.

We are the containers of Lilt.

Of Yoo Hoo, and of Fanta.

Non- degradable, a life span of eons.

Our being’s reason is convenience.

For this, humans despoil oceans,

Pollute the air

donate their earth for our

everlasting resting place.

Geraniums

Your paintings are still on the wall.

Fairy tale paintings of sky and sea.

White houses on a verdant hill and

on the sill, geraniums crouching,

bolshie red and scentless. They slash the

gentle blue of evening sky to ribbons.

Each spring in belief of immortality.

I take the cuttings from the shed.

Plant them, resurrect the days

we lived in the house on the beautiful hill.

Where geraniums, bolshie red and scentless.

Crouch still, uncaring on the windowsill.

The Gymnast

It’s the movement.

The gliding limbs, the lower back,

the sexed-up slide of gluteal glory

ankles, smooth as angel wings

the round of mounded satin knees.

The eyes, the lips, the pretty nose

the symmetry, the perfection.

No holding the adjectival prose

she’s Helen, Diana, the English rose.

It’s the curve of breasts

the shape of waist,

the outward slip of hip.

The backward glance

the tiny tip of tongue

that slips between her lips.

Perfection.

If I Could

I would

hold you, keep you

heart soft, pliable,

fragile as new-born.

I would

weave your spirit through my fingers.

Intricate strands of love, loyalty.

How sweet these weapons.

I would

place them with

such delicate precision.

These silken ties

these silvered hooks.

I would

make the world

an image blurred,

incomprehensible, irrelevant.

I would keep you

safe, forever.

Physicality was never

a very strong issue.

To kiss, touch, on leaving, greeting

was. A sentimental habit and

much to much, so he settled for

a vaguely sketchy wave on leaving

his home in the mornings. -

His offspring sprang, he often thought

full formed, a female product

and perhaps it really wasn’t

his place, to interfere when it

was plain, their mother served them better.

The years and decades slipped away.

He thought he glimpsed personality traits,

that somehow connected him to them, but

then he thought, he couldn’t be sure

never having had a conversation.

Duvet Day.

Oh, to wake one morning,

lie, half sensed in shielded light.

Dreaming, stretching, gently chafing

legs against the linen.

Who, would not sigh, softly say.

Let us, for once, not start this day.

Bid life drag on its weary way,

Linger here with me.

We need not help the world go by,

hear sad truths, painful lies.

Politicians praising strife.

Stay here my love, with me.

Rain is waging wintry war,

freezing wind abetting.

Children screaming, playing the fool

reluctant, lurching, off to school.

Bin-men banging, engines coughing.

Speeding cars, stamping feet.

Pay no heed, my only love, stay,

and lay with me.

It didn’t rain.

No diamond drops cut oily fetid air,

no breeze, ease for drooping leaves,

floral heads hung in pain,

roots cleaved to dusty soil.

It didn’t rain.

Two buses came, went, empty, spent,

engine groaning, exhaust contaminating

clouds of midges announcing night,

flies buzzed hypnotised by light.

It didn’t rain.

Perhaps, if I stand by the bedroom door.

Face the wall, eyes half closed, counting

pictures hung on rose patterned walls

with ivy inter-twining.

Maybe it will rain.

I’ll fill my day. Busy away

this hour strewn day. Washing maybe.

Maybe baking, cakes with sugared icing on.

Maybe, I’ll hear from you today.

Maybe, it will rain.

Stars.

I am plasma, light, heat,

A glowing rotating binary,

stellar behemoth, suffused with appetite,

illuminating night with violent explosion.

I am the beginning of your imaginings.

Hopes talisman, keeper of dreams,

repository of stories told,

indicator of seasons.

I bear the burden of your religions,

have shown you the way,

been your guide, mentor.

I am a part of you, and you of me.

We are magic, we are star.

The Rabbit of St Mary’s in’t Baum.

Just over a hunnert year ago,

a site were sought fer a church.

T one as they ad weren’t up ter scratch,

they wanted one as they could match

Agen t cathedral i Manchester,

or at least agen St Chads.

So, they chose a site i Rochda town,

twixt river ant Lordburn stream,

on a spare bit o green by ‘t’ graveyard

and ‘t’other owd church in between.

They thowt as this were a gradely idea,

an set to wi’t diggers and shovels,

till they cum ter southern side’o’ t church

and boss said ‘lads, we’re in trouble.

Auld reverend Shone, he’s bin round ere,

and e sez, we’re disturbin th graves.

E sez we.re disturbin t childer

who’ve slept here for mony a year.

E sez we’ve to stop. Put an end ter’t job,

Or, for our souls we will fear.

So they put down their shovels, they put down the spades,

an went off ter’t pub for a pint,

And the reverend rubbed his ot little ands

and did a quick dance of delight.

Cos he knew a secret, that no one else knew

of a mysterious, wonderful herb.

That grew on’t graves of the childer there

That cured all th’ ills that man had to bear

And whats more, it cleaned up yer soul.

An he thought, if they budge church up a bit,

as they must, if threatened with hell.

I’ll get the new church, and I’ll keep the balm,

serve God and mammon as well.

But no-body ever knows everything

Some- times we may think that we might.

He didn’t know of the rabbit

That wandered the green in the night

He’d belonged to one of t childer

And when ‘t’ child had been laid to his rest,

He swore he would alers protect ‘im

And the green where his playmates slept.

With the aid of the magic mysterious balm

He had served them for mony a year

but when he heard of the reverend’s plans,

he was filled wi a terrible fear.

An his fur went white, his teeth grew strong,

he was filled with resolution,

and as the moon rose cold and clear,

sed taa raa ter’t sun till ‘t morning.

He started to eat the mysterious herb

and carried on till dawning.

Though his belly ached, and his teeth wore down,

he chewed and chewed right through to the ground

and the balm was all gone in the morning.

Well, the Reverend Shone he swore and he cursed.

He shook his fists and ranted,

his heart was filled with unholy rage till

it burst with a terrible mighty pain

and his life on this earth it was ended.

So, church wer built and ‘t’ graves were saved,

it goes under name of St Mary’s

and if you’re about on a moonlight night,

you might see a rabbit that pauses in flight,

behind him a man in a long black cloak

oo’ sounds just like he’s choking.

They run through the wall and the market stalls

passed where they used to sell fish,

left to the place, where the theatre stood

then right again back to St Mary’s.

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