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last update:
5th Sep20

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poetry favourites:
Poets Corner (Vancouver)  

Carol Rumens’ Poem of the Week  

The Ormsby Review  

Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry, Belfast  

London Grip  

The High Window  



and in the shop…
poetry collection –
“A Lamb”,
Ekstasis Editions




Bill and Ben, Flowerpot Men

Ben was a Belfast greengrocer’s helper with an
      endearing cowlick and trusting eyes.
After school on weeknights he put tins of peas
      and tuna on shelves
And swept the wooden floor at closing. Why?
      For the work experience and a few bob.
He was well liked there. You could hear it in the
      career shop-girls’ sighs,
And in the shopkeeper’s praise for him – praise
      the girls never got themselves.
Aoife and Tara were both twenty-two, with brutish
      husbands who drank and made them sob.
Ben’s world was soon to open up. His place at Queen’s
      was almost assured.
Their worlds, by age eighteen, had shrunk down to
      almost nothing – tiny pay packets,
Loutish men, grubby furniture, hidden bruises and
      one squalling, red-faced baby each.
Ben knew he had advantages and a way out. But still,
      he always had a cheery word.
The shop-girls could barely imagine his life of
      lessons and tennis racquets,
Of poetry and concerts, clean linen and August
      bank holiday weekends at Carnlough beach.
Aoife and Tara tried to resent him; oh, they tried
      very very hard,
But something like love, though not quite, got in
      the way. They just couldn’t.
After all, he stopped to admire mom ’n’ toddler selfies
      on their mobiles almost every day!
Then matters took a bad turn. Late one evening,
      out back, Ben dropped his guard.
Behind a stack of boxes, Aoife kissed him roughly
      and touched him where she shouldn’t.
He could have pulled her hand out, but
      something even less like love got in the way.
Tara told Aoife’s Bill who cracked Ben’s skull open
      with a flowerpot and tore off his ear.
There were witnesses and a trial, but all Bill got
      was a year.

P.W. Bridgman

in the collection A Lamb, 2018, Ekstasis Editions, Victoria,
ISBN 978-1-77171-273-6