Neil Elder – three poems

Colouring Book

A blue dog beside a green cow,
the world my son creates is all his own.
To him the grass is red.

He bends the laws of nature
yet does his best to stay within
the confines of the printed shapes.

With rigid concentration
his tongue works upon his lower lip,
hands stiffened to ensure
the colours do not blur.

A beige dog beside a brown cow.
I stay within the lines,
my world obeys all natural laws.
To me the grass is always green.

Horse Drawn

The sadness on the faces of the horses
that stand by the hedge separating
field from A-road, scurve my journey
and swarm in my sleep.

To stand all day and watch
is not enough;
such soul deep sorrow that
grows between folds of skin,
then spreads to take over the being,
can only hint at what is known.

In my rear view mirror
heads move, nostrils flare.
Some days I see myself
staring from amongst them.

Your Poem
(after M.R’s. ‘Frost’)

On the journey home I read your poem
and felt bad for not having read it before we met.
But of course it was too late to tell you
how much the poem meant to me
because I did not have your number.

The email that I’m sending this morning
about your poem will not quite convey
the feelings I had in the moment
that I read your poem, but perhaps
sometimes second is best;
and all we can hope for.

Neil has had work published in a number of magazines and journals (The Rialto, The Interpreter’s House, Prole and Acumen among them). In 2015 he was a winner of the Cinnamon Press Pamphlet Competition – Codes of Conduct is available now from Cinnamon Press.
Neil is part of Herga Poets and he occasionally posts at
He is @Eldersville on Twitter.

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