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last update: 16th Jun 18

 

 

The Plum Tree by the Church                      Today

 

Van Diemen’s Land                      Walter T.

 

The Plum Tree by the Church

An explosion, frozen in space:
the pink-white blossoms hang
for a moment
on the evening air.
 
A scent of honey
by the roadside.
 
Brightness
more enduring
than the shadowy branches.
 
On the way home
a petal sticks to my black shoe.
 

Dennis Tomlinson

published in anthology Genius Floored: Uncurtained Window,
ed. Ruth O’Callaghan, 2013, Soaring Penguin Press, ISBN 978-1-908030-11-5



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Today

the clouds
are a mountain range
across the sky
 
close to me
a plum tree
with cloven trunk
 
tortuous,
the last tree
to blossom
 
your white flowers
are dancing
in defiance
 
the black clouds
spit their rain
ever harder
 
but to us,
brothers and sisters,
it is life
 

Dennis Tomlinson

published on Ink, Sweat & Tears website website, 3rd June 2018



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Van Diemen’s Land

Shorn sheep swim
in tawny grass.
Scorched trees flame green.
 
A hard road
through the rocks
to Port Arthur.
 
Windows barred
and roof open
the Penitentiary
 
rears up,
a broken mill
behind hoardings.
 
A ferry
shows tourists
the Isle of the Dead.
 

Dennis Tomlinson

published in Ink, Sweat & Tears website, 21 January 2016;
and in Paper Cuts: An Anthology by Poetry ID, 2016, Poetry ID,
ISBN 978-0-9542867-5-0



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Walter T.

A rich man of Derbyshire sent his son south,
The gambler and wastrel, down south to Hertford,
To seek a new life on the banks of the Lea
With gold in his pockets and new friends in commerce,
A new life and new wife on the banks of the Lea,
The weedy and cloudy and willowy Lea.
 
A great builders’ merchant he thought he would be,
That gambler and wastrel, down south in Hertford,
And he made a great fortune to gamble away,
To pour in the river like piss from his drinking,
Flowing away past the banks of the Lea,
The weedy and cloudy and willowy Lea.
 
A fine timber merchant he thought he could be,
Did Walter the wastrel, down south in Hertford,
To give his two sons a firm floor to their lives.
But one day his woodyard went up in a blaze,
Leaving charcoal and ash by the banks of the Lea,
The weedy and cloudy and willowy Lea.
 
His poor wife Irene was distraught and she wept,
Wept for the wastrel, down south in Hertford.
Fearing they never could rise from the depths,
She jumped in the river and wrapped her in weeds
And he stood bereft on the banks of the Lea,
The weedy and cloudy and willowy Lea.
 
He flogged off his mansion and fled from the town,
Old Walter the wastrel, down south in Knebworth.
He sold a few coals but his debts grew so heavy
His poor heart collapsed and they carried him back,
Back to a grave by the banks of the Lea,
The weedy and cloudy and willowy Lea.

Dennis Tomlinson

published in The Ver Prize 2009, adjudicator John Whitworth, Ver Poets, 2009, ISBN 978-0-9558990-2-7



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