Poetry Blog by fiona sinclair

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Our temporary two week living together

is wordlessly extended,

as equipped only with electric saw

and uncle’s ancient loppers,

we next tackle the thicket crouching in the back yard

Both middle aged with bad back and balance disorder,

a morning’s work and ‘Early night?’

means we are asleep by 8pm.


I  load as fast as you chop

stuff hatchback and estate like suitcases.


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Switching the light back on

Switching the light back on


Leylandi that once screened a wilderness

of old tyres and compost, are storm toppled.

A Freecyler with an open fire to feed, clears them.

Then you arrive with wellies and work clothes,

ready to take on a garden that has had its own way for years.


Armed by B and Q, you are Russell Crowe in Gladiator,

decapitating plants that have shuttered ...

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A month's trial

A month’s trial…


Attempting to butch up your girly home,

you consign Marilyn cushions to the spare room,

replace boudoir duvets with dark covers.

Underwear entwining in ‘a big wash’,

your vegetarian trolley re-discovers

the meat counter at Tesco’s.

His’ You’re trying too hard’

is drowned out by the vacuum cleaner.


But after years of solitary living,

you long...

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In the morning she was mother again,

breakfasting gaily on the remaining quarter bottle,

whilst you trekked to ‘the shop’

like a disgruntled wine waiter sent to distant cellars.

Don’t desert me held you hostage in the kitchen,

listening, as she worried at the past, for the first slouched words

that made you want to slap her.

By ...

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You parade her photos before him,

proof that your mother’s beauty was not a daughter’s delusion.

Side by side in one snap,

He ignores you at 14 unlovely as a juvenile bird,

but ogles her film star pout.


So you are hurled back to that day

she bowled up to college in scarlet sports car,

snatching the gaze of the boy, who had replaced Donnie ...

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Bed Snatcher





Bed Snatcher


In this room where no man has slept for sixty years

since grandfather was banished for snoring,

I exchange embroidered lilac for plain blue.


He chuckles at my spinsterish hot water bottle

companion of an afternoon na...

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Thirty silent clocks;

estate of an elderly man

who hoarded time in his bungalow

until each piece was spent

and he became time bankrupt.

I choose one for its looks,

wind it up like an old fashioned toy,

smile at its resuscitated tick-tock.

But on my mantle piece

it clamours above TV and chat,

raising its voice when I leave the room


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Stood Up


Stood Up


Creeping away from bed and favourite thriller,

you must wash your hair, again,

perform yet another make-up legerdemain,

clamp yourself into iron maiden jeans.


At 52, you do not listen for his car’s theme tune

but start to list the weekly shop,

checking clocks you realise he is 30 minutes late,

an old wound’s twinge He has stood you up.


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Stainless Sister



Stainless Sister


Aunt and chums over tea and cakes

sifting through ancient snaps

admit my mother’s memory into childhood reminiscences,

the adult years not speaking skirted

like a giant turd.


The sisters’ last ‘Good Bye’, aunt skype waving

from her front window at the woman, in the clapped out Ford,

barely able to lift her cancer co...

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At the vets


At the vets


On the way uncle’s jokes pester our silence

like flies on a wound .

Parking I observe a woman with wag appearance leading

her perky little terrier towards the surgery doors

as if showing  it at ‘Crufts’.

We tenderly assist our elderly Airedale off the back seat.

In the waiting room, the woman’s slender body has caught me out,

her pretty fa...

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About your mother's face


About your mother’s face.



Now your memory has degraded,

a suspicion  that mother’s beauty was overestimated.

Youthful photographs, like early snaps of Marilyn,

offer no clues as to her face’s full potential.

The portrait celebrating her beauty’s climax in middle age

disfigured by melancholy.


Mother was ordinary until class mates informed


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Material Girls


                                      Material Girls



Each Christmas, much like Morecombe and Wise,

your father must top the previous year’s offering:

citrine pendent, emerald ring , white gold watch…….

When he died,  mother began to buy her own gifts,

parading down the high street jewelled as a starling.

Forced eventually at bill point to mug herself,


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Earning the house keeping




Earning the house keeping.


Every pay day, your  job to prepare

the monstrous honeymoon suite.

Dragging mother’s dead weight mattress into the sitting room

to fashion  with squalid sofa cushions a crude double bed,

whilst she woozily opened another bottle.

In the bathroom, grunts and snorts as the lodger attempted

to make appetizing his goblin’...

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How to lose a friend


How to lose a friend


If we were blokes, the crime would be cancelled

with punch up and pint.

But in a Bluewater coffee shop

your PhD brain sinks too deep a shaft for my shallow poem.

The tribute of Maria Antoinette wedge wood figurine

misinterpreted not as a beauty but a bitch.

I’m a little bit offended grows like an aggressive cancer

in shoe shops as...

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Artist in Residence


Artist in residence


Every Sunday, your soap opera’s weekly omnibus ;

winning the council flat,

battling the filth left by a procession of slatternly tenants

like exorcizing a stubborn demon.

So my telephone imagination

expects a plain face to a tuneless voice,

but beside the front door geraniums and herbs cling

to the upper story’s cliff face,


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Funeral Crasher


Funeral Crasher


Outside the crematorium ,

I am greeted by bullet stares.

Hissed Who is she ?

information sliding from the sides of mouths.

The car park becomes the OK Carral,

my father’s family and I

facing each other like gun slingers.

But cousin Heather breaks ranks

crushing me in a 52 year old orphan’s hug,

the rest of the family stand down...

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Coffee Morning


Coffee Morning


Front door ajar, no Jack Russell alarm,

their house has the uncanny air of a crime scene.


‘’We’re all in the living room!’’

Her casual text had suggested coffee and gossip at the kitchen table.

I put on ‘Jolly Fiona’ like a heavy coat and enter,

am a brief comic turn as I reveal with a conjurer’s flourish

my contribution , a ...

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Mother's girl




Mother’s girl



Leaving a litter of lies behind him,

my father would syphon petrol from a neighbour’s car 

like sucking venom from  snake bite,

and disappear in his mini pick -up

into the orchards and fields of his office.


Mother was determined to exorcise

the sins of my father from me ,

so caught stealing chocolate biscuits


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Acid Attack


Acid Attack


Seventeen, he saunters into the gents,

traces of a mate’s joke on his lips.

The two skulking men leer over shoulders

to appraise the boy’s threat.


Croaking Alright

as if pacifying a pair of dangerous dogs,

he selects the furthest urinal.

But they see the fumbled flies,

smell his sweat

hear his tachycardia and


slide ...

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The Room (revised)




The Room


In the waiting area, after Hello, silence;

we are tongue tied by the house rule

never to trespass on the personal,  outside.

At 11,  the psychotherapist shuts the door on:

cheery smiles donned with coats

for the chatty cashier at the co-op,

an animated I’m fine to family and friends

who roll their eyes at depression’s monotone .


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ladies who lunch






Ladies who lunch
Wine has over rouged your cheeks.
Bouncing up ,  you must show me 
why “Mathematics is truth” ,on your iPhone.
Whilst behind a rictus grin
I try to calm my screaming thoughts
in the aftermath of the letter bomb that exploded 
on my door mat earlier this morning ;
which I do not mention because it is your ...

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