After

                                                                   
After the wind died I hungered for noise
anything but that stillness where nothing moved,
every leaf silent, and the ones that had been blown
like Shelley’s ghosts from an enchanter fleeing
now huddled in corners, more like repentant sinners
ashamed of the mad dance they had been part of.

It was then we turned to each other but our tongues
stuck like the leaves against the hedge. A whisper
would have been enough but we missed the chance.
And as I went about my household tasks, I had to
make do with the sounds of the tap splashing, the clink
of cutlery and the creak of your unforgiving footsteps.

 

_________________________________

Liz Cashdan

 

The Railway House


for Greg Freeman

If I were to own it, this foursquare,
solid house, I'd fix a plaque
with a single word: Fortitude
to show the way it holds its own
between two streets
and the new urban clearway.

From an upstairs window
I'd slip through time, imagining
the features of fish dock lumpers,
their pale faced kids and wives,
sliding past on rails
to freedom and the Wolds.

As in some genre painting,
I'd sense the innocence
with which they grasp new-fangled days –
their faith in clockwork, uniforms,
the black and white
of Bradshaw’s Guides,

leaving behind them
a trackless pathway that rises up
on brambled banks, the abandoned
corridor prowled by foxes
above which kestrels hover,
eyeing their chances.

_________________

David Cooke

 

Liz Cashdan lives in Sheffield and teaches at Sheffield University Institute of Lifelong Learning, for the Open College of the Arts and for the WEA. She is currently Chair of NAWE and poetry editor of Jewish Renaissance. Liz also does workshops in schools and is delighted that A-level Creative Writing starts in September 2013. Her most recent collection is 'Things of Substance: New and Selected Poems' from Five Leaves (2013). In 2012 she published 'Iceland Stories', a sequence of poems about Iceland, with images from digital artist Pat Hodson and sound from Jessica Rowland, which resulted from a month-long residency in Iceland. She also has poems in 'The Sheffield Anthology' (2012) and 'Versions of the North' (2013).

David Cooke won a Gregory Award in 1977 and published his first collection, 'Brueghel’s Dancers' in 1984. His retrospective collection, 'In the Distance', was published in 2011 by Night Publishing and a collection of more recent pieces, 'Work Horses', has just been published by Ward Wood Publishing. His poems, translations and reviews have appeared widely in journals including Agenda, Ambit, The Bow Wow Shop, The Critical Quarterly, The Irish Press, The London Magazine, Magma, The North, Orbis, Other Poetry, Poetry Ireland Review, Poetry London, Poetry Salzburg Review, The Reader, The SHOp and Stand.