A Generation of Emerging Poets

Samantha Wynne-Rhydderch
Rockclimbing in silk1

Samantha Wynne-Rhydderch lives and works in Oxford and in New Quay, Ceredigion. Her first collection, Rockclimbing in Silk was published by Seren in 2001. Read three poems by Samantha Wynne-Rhydderch here in Transcript.


1. The Lighthouse Keeper's Daughter

was the first to see the dead musician's
eyes at dawn, blue and immense

as Llangorse Lake where his voice
would echo from water to rock to

water. That was before the migraines
bleached her tongue, combing her skull

each night until mute with pain she
polished cobalt vowels in the wind.

The whiteness throbbed round
and round, firm and eternal as

this glass tower, a prism
practising madness: light, limb, dark,

blade, light, clover, dark, lake, light,
dark, wound, dark, dark.





3. Julia

She's down there in the cellar
my rival, propped up against the wall,
a series of eerie lines on canvas.
He's almost painting her lips - burnt mauve,
the colour of the sand from my window
under a threatening sky.

Every day her eyes seize me
more intently than before - they know
something I can't, details sealed in oil
as he soothes them at dusk.
Her smile flickers up through the floorboards
as if she will say the word I can't
bear to hear: his name.

Instead I say it first,
paint my lips, kiss
the mirror, then
devour him.









2. Part of the Furniture

Since I had him stuffed
and mounted in a glass case,
my husband has truly become
what he always was:
part of the furniture.
Addicted to sitting still and staring
out of the window, now I've made sure
he can do that permanently.
I know he'd thank me for it.
Always wanted to be on display,
in his best waistcoat, the centre
of attention. Suits him: far better
disembowelled than drivelling on.






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