Poems by Selina Whiteley

“Thorned Silences”
            By Selina Whiteley

I imagine you back at the allotment, 
carrots,peas, potatoes, roots that splay 
through the dark earth, knit a new foundation. 
And I think how, on your way homeward,
you’d stop to clear the brambles from walkways, 
move their barbed stalks to clear a path for others.

Then another memory. You picking blackberries,
their lustrous juice too much like blood,
their briar too much like fresh lacerations or scars
when the image of cattle being led to slaughter
doesn’t leave your mind. The berries, like the guilt
of doing nothing, stains your fingertips.
The tragedy catches in your vocal cords like thorns. 

“That Broken Month”
            By Selina Whiteley

Cloud underbellies
were fecund with final daylight
throughout the unbroken months
of night-wet winter.

On the earth of that December dusk,
she’d stood mesmerized,
the kicking infant enlivening her body,
pleating her flesh.

The May sun shone on the bramble thickets
that clawed the shed
as she’d forced out that sack of flesh
for gloved hands to extract him.

All that day, he’d warmed against her
glossy in the Spring’s untrodden grass.
His eyes staring at the elms
greening and thickening in the light.

Fern leaves shadow the soiled ground.
She stares beyond the turbulent river
to where the bell tolls
as he enters the slaughter.

“Russet Morning”
            By Selina Whiteley

A solitary magpie
draws up the sky,
as I write in black ink

on white paper.
I hope to see
another magpie -

the darkness is full
with dualities.
It is hard to envisage

a morning
without both birdsong
and nightmare.

In this monotone dawn
the image is spiky,
refined -

the rustic dawn
is barbed with reality.

And alone,
the magpie screeches,
at the departed night.

The foundation,
of the whole, friable earth
crumbles into the abyss

It’s difficult not to cry
when even the saplings
of dreams seem thick

with tragic magpies
in spheres of loneliness.
The stench of blood on the tongue.

- Selina Whiteley is an animal rights activist and environmentalist. She has poetry widely published in two books, "The Kaleidoscope Chronicles" and "Up to Our Necks in it," and in a number of magazines. As an undergraduate she studied Creative and Professional Writing from the University of Glamorgan in Wales, UK, and is currently studying for an MA in Creative Writing at the University of Teeside, in the UK.

Copyright©2020 by Selina Whiteley. All Rights Reserved.