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[Poetry] Two Poems by Bernadette Whiteley

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Jar upon jar of shells fill the shelves where

books, photographs, normality should be.

Swathes of brittle seaweed

hang in place of curtains,

obscuring a view of landlocked dales.

She tells tales of temperamental oceans,

ships embraced by wicked kraken, sailors

ensnared by the silken web of a siren song.

Hers is another world, long ago and far away,

where seven human tears

could catch a selkie lover for a faithless wife.

I used to be a mermaid, she whispered,

when I brushed her waves of silver hair

and I swear that when I placed her

in the arm chair, scales that captured

the world, tumbled from her wasted legs.

Delhi Days: First Impressions

Warmth like a steadfast hug, the slightest breeze.

A distant call to prayer from minarets,

parakeets chirping like squeaky dog toys.

Cars converse in angry exchanges,

tuk-tuks daring to dance between the lanes.

Street sellers stroll among the traffic with:

wash cloths, Das Kapital, high expectations.

Smog tickles my airways, veils the sun.

But still the colors sing: bougainvillea

spilling in crimson waves over high walls,

girls in rainbow saris riding pillion,

the lure of Lodhi Garden's emerald grass.

Bernadette Whiteley is a British ESL teacher living in the French countryside. She’s been writing poetry and short stories since she was a child. Wherever she lives, she loves to meet up with fellow writers. She runs a monthly Writing Group, which has 18 members. Bernadette has had her writing published by The National Trust, Wingless Dreamer, and Living France Magazine.

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