Two poems by Abi Wyatt

In the Face of Fire


Spare me the bother

of your paltry justice

for I am neither

innocent nor guilty.

Try me and see

how I float a while,

then go floundering

down in the dark.

Search me inch by inch;

there is no bright mark,

only the scars

and the kisses

I was born with.

Probe if you must;

if I danced, I will lie

and I will always

keep the secret

of my name.


Likewise, spare me

your threats;

since there is no hope,

your rope and your fire

cannot touch me.

My flesh roasts

from the inside out

and my heart

is bound to burst.

My eye out-stares

the light within

and its flame is

my Lucifer leaping.

So, spare me your trial,

your plain good sense.

While you whittle,

I will show you

how I die.


An Old Woman’s Lament


Prophecy is a baleful curse;

what use is the wisdom of tomorrow?


Already, a fat, hot pig in a poke,

a cow slung astride the moon;


in the nursery, tears, a wail of despair

for the dish and spoon are long parted;


and the owl gave his life to save the cat

that sank like a stone in the well.


The grand dame has skinned and butchered the babes

she dandled,  crooned and cradled.


In the great black pot, she stirs the bones

that spit and simmer and hiss.


Here’s a marrow-rich stock for tomorrow’s stew –

and Polly has promised us dumplings.


The Lord of Life comes to dip his bread

where the sweet fat gleams and pools…


Abi Wyatt


Abi Wyatt writes for her life in the shadow of Carne Brea near Redruth.  Formerly a teacher, she was paroled in 2004 and now writes poetry and short fiction as well as being the ‘house’ reviewer for Palores Press. She has been published in a number of magazines and e zines including Words with JAM, One Million Stories and ‘Poetry Cornwall’.  Her poetry collection ‘Moths in a Jar’ became available in November, 2010.


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