Ceinwen E Cariad Haydon- Poetry

[response to ‘La Pointe de la Hève, Sante-Adresse’, Claude Monet, 1864]

Dusted by sand,
fanned by spring breezes,
she lies in her shingle bed.

She and her lover,
dreamed through yesterday:
held real life below the waves
and screamed with joy
to see it splutter and drown.

He gave her a seaweed band –
she saw a diamond, yet
mocked her own credulity.

Uncoupled at last, panting,
sweat-sheened and sated,
the air cooled,
long-shadowed their bodies.

Her husband stood above
stared down.

No time to run before
his knife cored her lover’s heart.
Seconds later,
her own.

she lies prone
alone in her shingle bed,
fanned by spring breezes,
dusted by sand.

Golden Shovel’ form after Selima Hill, Snowdrops in the Light of the Blaze

I always hear my child’s breathing,
her snuffling, watch in case
is wrong. He retreats
to his man-shed,
prefers to get out,
escape into darkness.
I doubt he’s alone –
more like with a girl
in a snowdrop nightie,
skin like cream and
pink rhododendron cheeks.

I hear sounds.
Is it their fire crackling,
in his wooden bolt-hole?
Do they have no fear of conflagration?

Maybe he covers
his old headmaster’s daughter?
She was my rival, naturally.
She like me,
was once asthmatic.
I still am
and now my child
wheezes and coughs,
her throat dry,
lungs tight, She gasps
as if she knows
her father loves elsewhere

and we’ll be abandoned soon.
Fantasy or fact,
our lives are unbalanced,
He’ll still play with us,
when he wants to.


lightning splinters the heat
electrifies the steel-pan sky

rain’s drumbeats
drown out our voices

you thrust to its rhythm
my back arches and I scream

later   sluiced
in the shower-block
my skin winces
stung by your vexed love
and my own lust


In the fuzz of near-dawn,
I mistake
the mound of your belly for hers.

In a daze-dream, I stroke you both

whisper two   distinct    names
un-severed from either by forced choices.
Half asleep, I join you hip to hip



I fight wakefulness
scared to face daylight’s losses.


Ferocious winds drive petrol waves
and land driftwood –
knotted, pitted, gravestone grey
on stones, towed smooth
shaped by ebb and flow and ebb and flow
of tides. All nested in a stirred expanse
of drenched, beached beige.
Shifting shallows of sea-ground shells,
tiny pixels: black and white, maroon and brown.
They grimace lips of life and eyes of death.

Hail stranger, pilgrim.
Your empty arms, heavy-leaded
by her absence, reach down. Your hands
grasp rocks and heave weathered timber.
Far horizons startle nerves to build and not erase.
Your work preserves this lifting space
to enclave drifts of salt-stung breeze.

You will return her name to breath,
reclaimed from silted caves of grief.

Here, in this shelter wild-sourced –
your shoulders touch once more.
hers and yours. As you pray
you dare not look
your eyes tight shut.

The Seal Hut was a wood and stone structure positioned on a remote sand dune on the Holy Island of Lindisfarne. It was created using items that people had collected on the beach. Visitors left mementos of loved ones and items found in the environment. It also housed a book in which people could write their thoughts, reflections and memories. The hut was significantly damaged in an arson attack in 2014.

About the contributor

Ceinwen E. Cariad Haydon lives in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK, and 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 and Atrium and with work coming up in Marauder, Prole and The Curlew.

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