Featured Poem

Kilvert

1.
The baby was baptised in ice which was broken and swimming about in the font.

There was awkward-
ness, but he broke the ice-
crust delicately as a
brûlée;
these, he said, the sweet
shards and bergs
that save our souls.

2.
At Rhos Goch Lane House no one was at home so I stuck an ivy leaf
into the latch hole.

Improvised, so
you’d know I’d been:
a dying trefoil calling-
card, my meaning
veined on green
vellum pushed
into interior space.

When you come
in, press it between your
pages so it stains.

3.
Her pretty portrait still on the dining room mantelpiece . . . On the bookshelves
stood two cases of stuffed birds . . .

He thought they’d please
her. She thought it
cruel, that embarrassment
of birds, that parliament
of fowls between Hansard
and Hazlitt, posed
passerine, wired for flight.

So early dead,
she said that one close
day she heard them cry for
air in the evacuated cases.

4.
It was the first time I had seen clergyman’s daughters helping to castrate lambs . . .
they carried it off uncommonly well.

They held them like cellos,
the kneeling hands
bent to their relieving
work. It was
wrong all round. Still,

they played beautifully,
drawing something like
music from the bleating
between their legs.

About the author

Damian Walford Davies

Original poet

Damian Walford Davies

Damian Walford Davies teaches in the Department of English and Creative Writing at Aberystwyth University. His collection Suit...

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