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Helen Burke (        - 2019)



Second Prize winner, Ver Poetry Competition


The Rehabilitation Hobbies Room


This is re-cuperation then , this is rehabilitation.

Here by learning how to re-tie my own anxiety into bows

I will be made whole again.

From all the hobbies on the hobby table

I shall choose sand.  Sand and ribbon-reading.

By my ribbons they will know me.

I send back the mirrors made from pasta twirls.

I send back the soft toy dogs made from

cotton wool and silly tape.

The gnomes and plaster cast of Jesus (the champagne

corks still wobbling) I eschew.

These are the glories of the hobby room

where we must come before they sign us out, we damaged moths.


I must sketch my own silhouette in beer can tops and

draw my own eyes with sea-foam and silicone.

I must re join my bones with cement and sloe-gin.

I must position my mended shadow on the wall of reason.

I must play football with my own spleen,

badminton with my own kidney.

I must leave a sample of my own cheerfulness in the cup provided.

I must fashion a prophecy from eggshells and straw.

My hobby is leaving this is my choice.

I will not choose another. 

My lilac wings are beating a pattern in the clear space above my head.


Helen Burke



    page at last update,
23rd Feb 2012

 Helen Burke photo

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