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poems beginning with V by Jehanne Markham

Poems are catalogued alphabetically. Please select a specific section by clicking on the the alphabet above.

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Outside the world was white hot.
Inner linings all burnt away.
Damp corners hoovered by the sun's relentless in-breath.
A very few eye lashes of grass survived and the tousled
eucalyptus tree made a bustle of shade.

Yani's parlour was like a church, simple, holy and safe.
The table was spread with white lace, (protected by a
sheet of wipe –down, polka -dotted plastic) cloth flowers,
roses and wisteria, frothed over two cut- glass vases.
Framed photos of a slick young man in an open shirt
and a woman wearing honky lipstick, her hair clumped
and shiny like a horse's mane. The children who had
left for Athens.

It's about 5.30 and the afternoon is turning slowly on
its' heel. A last shot of liquid heat is thrown at the front
of the house. Two yellow silk curtains hanging over the
high windows translate the sunlight into shafts of maizey
gold. A length of sprigged white cotton floats across the
mouth of the door. The ceiling is painted blue.

And in that ship of shadows
we drifted and flew
from the sprigged sail filled with light
past the linen cupboards, empty beds,
to the heart of home,
where we looked out laughing
from the lap of a giant mother
and stroked the white cat
when it climbed up and looked at us with hard yellow eyes.

from Thirty Poems Rough Winds 2004


You should have buried at sea, my love,
You should have buried at sea.
Because you were always a sailor,
Or so it seemed to me.

It was twenty one years ago,
When we danced together at first,
And I still have such a yearning,
That time will never disperse.

You were my working class hero,
I was your turtle dove.
It was a passionate affair,
Until you fell out of love.

In your life you were always moving,
Moving, moving away,
You were frightened of rooms like boxes,
And women wanting to stay.

It hardly matters now,
Now that you are so dead,
All the words that I'm left with,
That will have to remain unsaid.

I only know that I loved you,
And the pain that I feel at your death,
Is still less than when you left me,
And I was so bereft.

You should have been buried at sea, my love,
You should have been buried at sea,
Because you were always a sailor,
Or so it seemed to me.

from Ten Poems Redstone 1993