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A group of poems

It was enough

It was enough
that the rain
white and clean
on my face.

It was enough
that the clouds
black and wild
across the sky.

It was enough
that the sky
grey and torn
by the wind.

But that the sun
should then break
and cast a rainbow
to the ground,
was more than I’d allowed.


Though the leaves moved
they were still.
Though there were many
they were few.
Though the sun was weak
it fell with strength.
Though the leaves absorbed light,
they were transparent.
Though I sat on the bench apart,
I was not separate.

When I was a child

When I was a child
close to the ground
I caught the sky
in my eye
held the land in my hand.

When I was a child
with legs quick and nimble,
leaping ditches,
scratched by bramble,
I flew with time,
drew the whole of summer
in one breath,
knew no time but mine.

When I was a child
stained purple with berries,
lying deep
in shady grasses,
standing still
in noonday sun,
I heard the stilled woods speak,
felt summer’s wing
touch my cheek.


I recede like a shadow
like a shadow,
like an old echo.
I scrape my brain
for crumbs of memory.
I turn them over
slowly in my hands.
They slip through my fingers
like the sea.
They cannot survive
the sharp edge of scrutiny.
Better to leave them
bedded in murky corners,
to be glimpsed
in half-light/
half-forgotten images,
to shine out,
for a few seconds,
like a cottage garden in spring.

My bicycle

My bicycle looks
the same,
whether moving
or still.
It is only I
that look different.

Words and images by Phyllis King

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