poetry pf header


home>poets>Anne Berkeley

Anne Berkeley     about Anne      more poems

this poet is taking part in the poetry tREnD project

events listing


home button poets button features button

links button shop button about ppf button email ppf button




in collection, The Men from Praga, 2009,
Salt Publishing, ISBN
rd prize in Arvon competition 2004,

in The Arvon International Poetry Competition Anthology 2004

ISBN 0 9543422 1 6


Hold-all (Aircrew)


You served to carry my father’s civvies,

spare flying rations, pressure-suit, presents.

You brought us tangerines fresh from the tree.


After each tour of duty, you suffered

being flung on the floor, skidding on metal feet,

and slumped there, heavy as a body.


If you ever glimpsed the Vulcan’s purpose

above the clouds as you rode in the bomb-bay,

you held your peace.


From the childhood of your ID tag

you reproach me with mute loyalty,

your two handles like ears, waiting for orders.


Forgive me, you were always too heavy

with dirty laundry and official secrets.

I was never allowed to touch you.


Let me take some weight from you now.

Let me listen to the long yawn of your zip

as you spill out your puzzling odours


and I will try not to resent your shared journeys,

the long absences and whispers, the crises.

Unpack for me again the doll from Malta, 


panpipes from Nicosia and tangerines from Tripoli,

still with their leaves, still cold from 50,000 feet.

Even empty, I doubt I can carry you.


Anne Berkeley


last update:

Anne Berkeley photo
photo:  Michael Austen 

e-mail Anne
contact Joy of Six

poetry favourites:
Cambr. Diarise (Kettle's Yard);
Cambr. WordFest;
CB1 Poetry Café;
Salt Publishing;
Salt - "Just One Book"

and in the shop ...

collection -
"The Men from Praga",
Salt Publishing;

in anthology - "Oxford Poets 2002"
as ed,
"A Responsibility
to Awe"
(Rebecca Elson),

Seam Magazine


© of all poems featured on this site remains with the poet
site feedback welcome