Celeste Aida And Other poems

Celeste Aida 

The rain falls with blunt determination
but there’s a sun behind the flat white sky
whose intangible glow glosses 
the wet pebble edging
and in-your-face green bushes
outside the rehabilitation ward.

Wetness blood-gouts the stiff red roses,  
that are not allowed inside 
in case they harbour infection. 
You liked those when I wheeled you round
only yesterday, in a wind
too cold to let us stay out long.

Your music plays continually, turned up
or down. Celeste Aida glosses the minutes
in which you sleep uncomfortably 
but with determination. Sepsis in your blood
gives the lie to ‘rehabilitation ward’: 
No more needles you told us all.

In the greenwood  

At the entrance to the forest
she took the fire-lighting test:
use one match, cook sausages.

And failed altogether. Plodded 
hungrily under the trees hoping 
the expected fun would materialise.

Was this a quest, an adventure?
Escape from the endless regulation
of the cultivated fields?

Or likely to end with a shallow grave
covered in leaves, attended by
singing birds and the young deer?

Somehow years passed. She found 
berries were sustaining if monotonous,
learned to endure drizzle and winds.

Encountered other wandering types,
mostly fugitive misfits, the occasional
genius. Desultory chat. None stayed long.

Her choices were determined by where
the brambles were too thick, whether
over-hanging branches could snapped off.

She got used to forest gloom, short views,
how trunks threw complicated shadows,
nights of impenetrable darkness.

Then one day, the trees thinned, stopped. 
She emerged from the forest edge, blinking. 
Stood amazed, by distances, landscape.

Letting go  

The moment when the skipping rope
smacks down onto the ground 
and you jump in cleanly just-like-that.

The moment when the ball hurtles 
towards your connecting foot: blam!
a perfect volley for an unstoppable goal.

The moment when there is a sudden silence
and on the beat you make a witty remark
to a whole-room-laugh of approval.

That moment when I understand
no handhold will hold you long
and those bronze wings lift you 

into the sky.

About the contributor

Ruth Aylett lives in Edinburgh where she teaches and researches comouting and robotics. She was joint author with Beth McDonough of the pamphlet Handfast, published in 2016. One of four authors of the online epic Granite University, she performed with Sarah the Poetic Robot at the 2012 Edinburgh Free Fringe. She has been published by Prole, The North, Agenda, Antiphon, Interpreter’s House, The Lake, South Bank Poetry, Envoi, Bloodaxe Books, and others. See www.macs.hw.ac.uk/~ruth/writing.html for more.

Related Articles

2 poems by Julie Manning

Julie Manning’s work was shortlisted in the Peter Porter Poetry Prize (2020) and longlisted in the VC International Poetry Prize (2019).

Bojana Stojcic- Poetry.

Bio: Bojana Stojcic teaches, bitches, writes, bites and tries to breathe in between. Her poems and flash pieces are published or forthcoming in Rust + Moth, Anti-Heroin Chic, Down in the Dirt, Mojave Heart Review, Dodging the Rain, The Stray Branch, Tuck magazine, X-R-A-Y Lit Magazine and Visual Verse. She blogs regularly at Bojana’s coffee and confessions to go

Issue 43 Editorial, Ireland & UK, Tracy Gaughan

Tracy Gaughan on the poets appearing in issue 43 of The Blue Nib


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

More Like This

On the Tower of Babel – James W. Wood

Two powerful poems from award-winning poet, James W Wood

Carousel, Short Fiction by Helen Campbell

“Terrible shame about Marianne,” my mother says out of the blue.  “What do you mean?”...

2 Poems by Frances Olive

Sydney based, Frances Olive

Karen Dennison The Paper House – Reviewed.

Karen Dennison - The Paper House reviewed by The Blue Nib Reviews Editor, Emma Lee. This is a collection that explores relationships, friendships, landscape and art but resists becoming a series of anecdotes by engaging with readers and asking them to think about why certain incidents get remembered when others don’t

Travel Is A State Of Mind by Sophia Kouidou-Giles

Sophia Kouidou-Giles translates the work of Karina Ioannidou which takes us on a boat trip tour of the peninsula that is far more perilous than first thought