5 poems by Isabelle Kenyon

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    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,

    dissociating

    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,

    liquidated.

     

     

    Value

    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;

    sold

    purchased

    to the highest bidder.

     

    Afterlife

    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,

    truth

    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.

     

     

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