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Ceinwen E. Cariad Haydon Ceinwen lives in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK. After a career as a probation officer, a mental health social worker and a practice educator she is concentrating on writing. She writes short stories and poetry. She has been published in web magazines and print anthologies. These include Fiction on the Web, Literally Stories, Alliterati, Stepaway, Poets Speak (whilst they still can), Three Drops from the Cauldron, Snakeskin, Obsessed with Pipework, The Linnet’s Wing, Blue Nib, Picaroon, Amaryllis, Algebra of Owls, Write to be Counted, The Lake, Ink, Sweat and Tears, Riggwelter, Poetry Shed, Southbank Poetry, Smeuse, Bandit Fiction, Atrium, Marauder, Prole, The Curlew, Mothers Always Write, Muse-Pie Press, Peeking Cat, Confluence, Porridge, Hedgehog, FlashBack Fiction and up-coming in Stonecoast Review. She was Highly Commended in the Blue Nib Chapbook Competition and and won the Hedgehog Press Poetry Competition ‘Songs to Learn and Sing’. [August 2018]. In 2017 she graduated with an MA in Creative Writing from Newcastle University and she is now developing practice as a creative writing facilitator with hard to reach groups. She believes everyone’s voice counts.

The Bangle

In the shop window, the bangle shone, its spangled beauty called to me. You saw your chance, you with your deep pockets. On my wrist, the scratches started. Clamped tight, my wrist ballooned within its handcuff. I knew then, I was chained. Strangers stop me in the street on summer days, exclaim at my bracelet’s burnished brightness caught in the sun’s rays. The gleaming gold spikes beguile them, press after-images into their eyes. On the underside, these same spurs break my skin and I bleed. You bought it for me, made me yield. Now you eye another trophy. I am confined to your cupboard.

The Key

Cold in my pocket, warm in my hand, it was the key to home. Its lock no longer exists, I can’t let it go. I feel the weight of it, my neck remembers the string it hung on, nestled under my school shirt. All last lesson, my anxious fingers fondled it, my worst fear to be locked out.

Today, its shiny disc reflects my face, winks in the twilight. Its teeth chew my innards as I run my thumb along the ridge. I recall, home was always hell. The key, my only hope, so long ago.

Driftwood

Mighty oaks fall, my father did. I watch driftwood bob on the tide, bump the shoreline, tangle with seaweed. The spelk doesn’t care it’s small-wood now. My father did. It showed on his lined forehead. I bend, my fingers curl around the splintered remnant. I stroke along the grain, weep, this oak will not stand again. Patterned with whorls of years and broken into pieces.

Words

I fear I will move my mouth and speak no words or that my words will come and not be heard. I fear that my words will not carry my thoughts, scramble before they reach your ears. I fear that you’ll cut through before I’ve finished. I fear that you’ll judge before you know the whole. I fear that you hate my truth and that you’ll say I lie. I fear that you’ll lighten the weight of my serious words or be crushed by my humour. I fear we can’t communicate.

My Car, My Home

The baths open at six. I wait on the steps,
organised with towel and soap. Organised, me,
that’s a laugh. Householders bounce ahead,
daybreak swimmers, fit, healthy. Well off
friends from the past, who live my old life.

I pay for a swim, to take a shower.
Steamed-up mirrors reflect
creases tracked onto my tired cheek.
Marks pressed by the seat belt,

a safety device
made for journeys,

stained by sleep's dribble.

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The Bangle In the shop window, the bangle shone, its spangled beauty called to me. You saw your chance, you with your deep pockets. On my wrist, the scratches started. Clamped tight, my wrist ballooned within its handcuff. I knew then, I was chained. Strangers stop me in the street on summer days, exclaim at …

Poems from Ceinwen E Cariad Haydon Read More »

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The Settlement-Chris Boyland

Chris Boyland is a prize-winning poet who lives and works in Glasgow. His poems have been published in magazines and journals such as: [Untitled], The Poets’ Republic, 404Ink, Northwords Now, and

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