No 6 - Winter 1999
Part of their work was to rescue people who were put away for life not because they were dangers to society, but only because they were disturbed and difficult... It was the law at the time that if a certified person could live undetected in normal society for six weeks, they were automatically decertified.
The Independent, 30th November 1998
He was late home from work that night. Too late
To make it another "cry for help", another scar on the wrist.
And I found out too late. At seventeen,
A drunken slip up by one of his mates.
"My Uncle Ken's first wife? What do you mean?"
Too late meant I was angry - how dare he insist
(As I was told he had) that us kids shouldn't know;
He'd even confiscated and hidden photos.
I remembered his christening gift to me. A wooden train. Favourite toy
Right up till I was five or six. He'd smile: "I bought well."
Just him? For my first six months her life overlapped.
Even that gentle boast came to seem part of his ploy,
Made that train seem to have been cheap splintering crap,
Me choking forever on a snapped-off wheel.
Perhaps I had no right - I hadn't suffered his grief -
But when he was around that anger rose as if
I was charging up stairs to free her from his spare room. The wanker!
Things changed when - in on the secret now -
I picked up the family view of her - maligned
As a mad witch, the selfish bitch who nearly took him with her.
I get it, Ken - rather no memory of her than one ruined.
Don't worry. In that spare room, I find an open window.
Too late. Just the faint trace of feet on your muddy lawn.
A mug of coffee on the sill. Still warm.
- 10th Muse
- Angel Exhaust
- Blithe Spirit
- Brando's hat
- Brittle Star
- Cannon's Mouth, The
- Coffee House, The
- Dream Catcher
- Floating Bear, The
- French Literary Review, The
- Frogmore Papers, The
- Global Tapestry
- Grosseteste Review
- Homeless Diamonds
- Interpreter's House, The
- Journal, The
- Lamport Court
- London Magazine, The
- Modern Poetry in Translation
- Monkey Kettle
- Neon Highway
- New Welsh Review
- North, The
- Obsessed with pipework
- Oxford Poetry
- Painted, spoken
- Paper, The
- Pen Pusher Magazine
- Poetry Cornwall
- Poetry London
- Poetry London (1951)
- Poetry Nation
- Poetry Review, The
- Poetry Salzburg Review
- Poetry Scotland
- Poetry Wales
- Private Tutor
- Purple Patch
- Rain Dog
- Reach Poetry
- Review, The
- Rialto, The
- Second Aeon
- Seventh Quarry, The
- Smiths Knoll
- Strange Faeces
- Tabla Book of New Verse, The
- Tolling Elves
- Ugly Tree, The
- Wolf, The
- Yellow Crane, The