New Poetry, Fiction, Essay

5 poems by Isabelle Kenyon

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, MindHer 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.


Cryptic Consent 

No is a

sliding scale you negotiated

compromises                           extended

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;

white privilege.


Soon I am

my search history

a tick on an equal opportunities form

a customer type

segmented data;



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.


School Syllabus

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,

or gay

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,


and irony

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.



You might also like

6 poems from Tom Paine

TOM PAINE’s poetry is upcoming or published in The Nation, Glasgow Review of Books, The Moth Magazine, Blackbox Manifold, Volt, Fence, Forklift, Ohio, Epiphany, The

Read More »

Stephen House

Stephen House: has had many plays commissioned and produced. He’s won two Awgie Awards (Australian Writers Guild), The Rhonda Jancovic Poetry Award for Social Justice,

Read More »

Share this post with your friends

You may also enjoy
I write from northeast Ohio where I live with my…