A poem

One thing I never get tired of is seeing something I’ve written on the printed page. So I was very pleased last night to receive this copy of The Write Path 2016 (the National Association of Writers Groups competition anthology), with my poem The House Plant in it. So pleased, in fact that I thought I’d post it here too.  Hope you like it!


The House Plant

She keeps it in the living room

next to the fire, quite safe from rain

or raucous winds and screened by curtains

from the uninvited sun; alive

but not allowed to grow.


For Alice too,

there was to be no flowering.

The seed of her was sown in stormy times:

the sky was somewhere bombs might fall from;

hostile sea too perilous to cross.


The world was never, as for some of us,

an orchard bulging with ripe fruit.

Her life’s work was the carving out

from it of some small place of calm

for her and those she loved.


True to that goal she rejects

and fears the Outside still. She cowers

in her carapace of cardigans;

the stillness of this safe,

constricted space a kind of victory.


It did not ask to be protected.

In its sheltered spot, the leaves grow smaller,

folding in upon themselves.

‘Must be the draught,’ she said. I disagreed.

‘Let’s put it in the sun, before it dies.’


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