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last update: 14th Oct18

 


 
Frances White (1950 - 2018)

 

 

 

Llwynperdid Farm                      Anglers

 

The Black Cuillin                      St. Catherine’s Hill

 

Llwynperdid Farm

Trusted with the farmer’s new ponies
ungroomed, half broken
my brother and I trembled at their white eyes rolling
as the heavy slap of saddle and clink of bridle
sealed our fate.
 
Bareheaded
only the whack of a leaf-stripped fern for mastery
we were released from the farmyard
clattering on stony lanes
up through the pine forest
to a long range on the mountain top.
 
There, in a wind-whipped frenzy
the roan and the grey sidestepped and pranced
till we gave rein and raced for miles
on that boundless horizon of grass and sky
hooves thundering, rhythmic, concentrated
legs invisible, stretching into flight
wild and free above valley and pit
might, mane, and tail
               disappearing
                               like meteors
                                              over Rhondda.
 

Frances White

in collection Swiftscape, 2016, The Seventh Quarry Press,
ISBN 978-0-9935326-0-3;
published in Away With Words an anthology of poetry (Aeronwy Thomas, Beryl Myers,
Annie Taylor, Frances White), 2007, Poetry Monthly Press, ISBN 978-1-906357-01-6;
first published in Scope, 1996, The Richmond Adult Community College Poetry Society,
ISBN 0-952797-00-3


 
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Anglers

At crack of dawn the boys wake me
to drive them to the lake,
eager to secure their fishing peg.
 
Trolley loaded with rods and reels,
they head off, tousled and hopeful.
I follow the whiff of bait
through blankets of mist,
under chestnut trees.
 
They want me to go now,
leave them be,
erecting their bivvy in light rain.
I scan the lake,
listen for bird song.
 
Water lilies still closed
a grey heron stalks the edge
watching for prey.
The peace is far too quiet,
boys’ voices the only chorus.
 
As morning untangles from night,
a tall shape in waterproofs
appears on the far side,
fixing his line with a lurid fly,
fancy as a sweet-wrapper.
 
I stay my distance,
rooted under willows,
waiting for more evidence of day.
 

Frances White

in collection Swiftscape, 2016, The Seventh Quarry Press,
ISBN 978-0-9935326-0-3;
Shortlisted and Highly Commended, Torbay Poetry Competition, 2010


 
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The Black Cuillin

What fatal error undermined your skill,
when you set off without a glance behind,
upon the slopes of those forbidding hills.
 
Escaping to the mountains and their thrill,
with trusted friends you knew to be your kind,
what fatal error undermined your skill.
 
You ventured out alone to breathe your fill,
a short walk in the sunshine to unwind,
upon the slopes of those forbidding hills.
 
The sea lay tranquil and the island still.
I wonder if their magic made you blind,
as hidden peril undermined your skill.
 
No one was there to see you fall and spill
your youth and all the plans you had in mind,
upon the slopes of those forbidding hills.
 
The Black Cuillin captured your free will,
and shrouds the jagged facts so we canít find
what fatal error undermined your skill,
upon the slopes of those forbidding hills.
 

Frances White

in collection Swiftscape, 2016, The Seventh Quarry Press,
ISBN 978-0-9935326-0-3;
first published in Away With Words an anthology of poetry (Aeronwy Thomas, Beryl Myers,
Annie Taylor, Frances White), 2007, Poetry Monthly Press, ISBN 978-1-906357-01-6


 
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St. Catherine’s Hill

October, above Winchester,
on St. Catherine’s Hill,
heads down in conversation,
unaware we trod a flight path,
dark swarms closed in behind,
smothering us.
 
As we flicked them from our hair,
some tumbling like rubies
inside our shirts,
still more arrived, till we ran,
flapping to release them,
our laughter setting us free
 
in a loveliness of ladybirds.
 

Frances White

in collection Swiftscape, 2016, The Seventh Quarry Press,
ISBN 978-0-9935326-0-3;
first published in anthology A Brush with Words (Beryl Myers, Annie Taylor, Frances White),
2015, Number 11 Publishing, ISBN 978-0-9555134-8-0


 
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