Isabelle Kenyon is currently a Guildford based poet and a graduate in Theatre: Writing, Directing and Performance from the University of York.Isabell e is the author of This is not a Spectacleand Micro chapbook, The Trees Whispered (Origami Poetry Press) and editor of anthology Please Hear What I’m Not Saying, which raises money for UK mental health charity, Mind. Her poems have been published in many poetry anthologies, such as The Road To Clevedon Pier and The Inkyneedles anthology. She has had poems published in literary journals such as Eskimo Pie, Scrittura, Anti – Heroin Chic, Bewildering Stories and Literary Yard. Her book reviews, articles and blog posts have been published in various places such as Authors Publish, Harness magazine and Five Oaks Press. She has won prizes in competitions such as the Great British Write Off, the Wirral festival of Music, Speech and Drama, the Festival of Firsts, and the Langwith Scott Award for Art and Drama. She is a fierce dog lover and a confessed caffeine addict.
No is a
sliding scale you negotiated
rain soaking words muffled in fabric,
shielding soiled skin,
awakening – rasping fingers down my throat,
slithering free I leave
a skein of thick grey mass,
all I was made of.
The rest is thoughts floating,
Soon I am
the number of boys in bed
labels others have given to me
the lack of ring on my finger
the length of my skirt
the weight of my mother’s shoes
the space between my thighs;
Soon I am
my search history
a tick on an equal opportunities form
a customer type
to the highest bidder.
What you don’t know is,
ever since you died
I have been an acquaintance
not a member
of the Catholic church
and I spent three years of university
setting an alarm
for services I never attended.
One year on,
I step through the doors of that church and weep
for my faith.
What I didn’t know was
Carol Ann Duffy is a genius
and knows what it is to love:
We sat crisp in year seven blazers and chortled
at the English teacher’s expense –
passion never in trend
and we wondered, cruelly,
if both she and Carol were single,
and discarded that poem of a moon – onion
like something soiled or distasteful.
Today I check out Carol Ann Duffy at the library,
in an act of pure nostalgia for those girls
and their rolled up skirts
and find brilliance,
that we were handed this work
at a time when we did not even know ourselves.
When the worms came
When the worms came
there were two types of children in the playground:
the ones who ran like jackals,
brandishing twigs like sharpened spears
to tear the worms in two,
and the ones who prepared for battle,
offering their squatted form as a shield for the wheezing worms,
dragging their fatigued tummies over the slippery tarmac,
where rain has stranded them.
Not all worms made it to the soil,
the land of plenty,
flopping on emergency twig stretchers,
an egg and spoon race with the jackals hot on their tail.
When the worms came,
the children practised doctors and nurses,
learnt about anatomy
(how some creatures have no bits)
and enacted their very own Lord of the flies
with the worms as their Piggy.