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Janet Budd

Sestina - Safe Hands

I enfold her as if I hold in my hands
A diaphanous shawl woven loosely
From silken skeins of hope and fear. I feel
Strongly, she’s so much part of me. Obliviously
She wriggles free. I glance at my daughter
Her mum, and marvel at inheritance.

I wrap all this stuff of inheritance
Into trust, quietly hoping the safe hands
Of my kindly, compassionate daughter
Will suffice. Experience tells me loosely
Held reigns are best. The child plays obliviously.
I watch. She echoes in me. Trembling I feel

The pain inevitably she will feel.
I fear quietly; knowing her inheritance;
The curse of memory. Now obliviously
She recalls careless conversation. Hands
On to me stray words, understood loosely
With looks I try to forewarn my daughter

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Deeply Blue Indigo Hued

DEEPLY BLUE

Your grief, as anger on your skin, tattooed
with hornet stings, I’ve scraped red raw again.
I see you deeply blue, indigo hued.

From deep articulate wells, you yell blood
curdling echoes of your past. You display
your grief as anger on your skin. Tattooed

drum beats protest, berate, constant and loud.
My love can’t penetrate the noise you make,
I see. You, deeply blue, indigo hued

by fossilised recollections of abuse
I don’t recognise, are stultified as pain.
Your grief as anger on your skin tattooed.

Slinging stones remorselessly, you’re good
at hurting, wounding, searing with your aim.

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Sestina - Cycling

November bomb-fires refuse to take light
Like sultry splutters of a lazy passion.
And drowsy hedgehogs under dead, damp wood
Dream snail’s trail filaments of kiss and touch.
Autumnal sodden leaves, leave underfoot,
A worn, discarded carpet once so lush.

Cold winter heart of mornings, sunlight lush,
Spangle frosts on bare branches and delight
In shining grass blades crunching underfoot.
Invade my sleepy heart, excite my passion.
I yearn for kisses, search for trembling touch.
Tentatively snap dead-wood’s bitter wood.

Rising greenly, sap springs through new wood,
Feeding fresh leaf, nourishing bud till lush
Summer arrives. Await the radiant touch!
Anticipate! The sun’s young rays spread light,
Tempting seeds of lust to swell in passion,
Crushing memories which echo underfoot.

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