Janet Philo – three poems

April Morning

The sun’s
pale pendulum,
stopped, silvers the water.
A single wader seeks worms, dips
and cracks

the discs,
of mirror-pools;
winter’s ephemera.
They glaze spring fields with pewter, still,
like ice.

Left ear
pierced by throaty
chips and whits of small birds
rising. Only grass tips tremble,

Slow train
grumbles, laden,
through her right ear, while cars,
insistent, edge her world with growls,
then pass.

Her left cheekbone warms.

Friar Gate: Derby

A city churchyard – he
beats time with his crutch;
alone in the world of
his black woollen hat.
He treads the same path
as the ghosts of fat friars;
footprints and crutch steps
thawing the hoar frost as

pools of warm colour
pour onto pavements;
the friars are feasting
inside glass cases
like Joseph Wright’s bird
trapped in the air pump,
fat-breasted, plumped feathers;
smiling and sliding
towards a slow death.

Spices at blood heat
tease and drift into
urine soaked doorways
where light doesn’t reach,
where bones fused to stillness
succumb to the cold,
where, in time with the crutch beat,
a sleeping bag speaks.

Morning on Skye

You said I must get up and
share this day with you…
But what if I had not?
All I would have seen, was grey.

Days had been wrapped in grey,
alpaca soft and dripping, but not today,
today’s firm skin is stretched and full
of colour; torquoise,red and royal blue

reflections of small boats, anchored
in moss green. A green edge to
the liquid pink of sunrise pouring
across a flat and polished sea.

Domestic strife of seabirds
shreds the silence. A hungry otter
threads quiet savagery through water
and, like a cardboard cut-out,

matt black, picture book still,
a cormorant’s neck is bent
to his breast, beak buried
in softness. His neck forms a circle;

a lens through which I see
as far as my world’s end.
You said I must get up
and share this day with you

But what if I had not?

Janet Philo is an adopted Northerner, originally from the Midlands, but lived in London long enough to love the space in Redcar’s sky.

She was first published in ‘Fulcrum’, magazine (2014)

Spoken word performances include work with the Tees Women Poets, and she also enjoys mixing up music and poetry accompanied by husband, Phil, on guitar.

Her work has appeared in The Black Light Engine Room Issue 13 (summer 2015) and online at The Fat Damsel Take 10 (issue 8 ) and in Issue 6 of ‘Poems to Survive in’

Her first poetry pamphlet, Under-hedge Dapple, was published in June 2016 by Three Drops Press.

She has recently had work accepted for a forthcoming Pankhearst publication, Deranged.

One thought on “Janet Philo – three poems

  1. Matt Dennison October 17, 2016 / 11:32 pm

    Especially like Friar Gate: Derby.


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