For my parents



Fists layer like mottled paint

a patchwork of things to hide;

sleeves in summer provide respite

from quick eyes asking

while her egg shell feet

drag home reluctant but set

to meet the fate she chose

with a band of gold and a promise.

Until new paradigms form

in a heart hammered sore,

bruised ribs the prison where

she stifles every misgiving.

Then a gut twisting decision

to cross a final threshold

medicates forever sleep

where she can dance free

on a far and different shore.


Now he can't follow

to fetch back what's his.



His Passing


And when you met your maker

did you show Him your soul?

As you lay gasping, dying, alone

were you cold and afraid

- my wish for you?

Did it come then in those final moments

- remorse for the lives you cancered?


I hated you for leaving

taking your reasons with you

I couldn't find anything in the cupboards;

a few of my mother's books

- such meagre possesions for a lifetime.

What did you value

beyond the roses she and I loved,

the apple trees grown

on my bedroom windowsill,

the rhodedendron and broom,

laylandii and strawberries?

This garden you tended

with all the love you couldn't give,

was this your Eden

the one place where peace was yours?


And left behind

could I ever wash clean the stain?

When I meet my maker,

will I show Him MY soul?





◄ The Changeling


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Tomás Ó Cárthaigh

Tue 29th Apr 2014 00:45

Lot of emotion here

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Chris Co

Wed 24th Aug 2011 06:52

Very moving in its emotion and art. Feeling conveyed with a delicate, skillful integrity.

My Best


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Wed 17th Aug 2011 17:08

Top stuff Petrova - 'leylandii' spelt thus. All previous comments cover the main points. Well done.

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Laura Taylor

Wed 17th Aug 2011 10:24

For once I am speechless. All I can do is echo the sentiments expressed by others, and try to get this damned grit out of my eye.

Your heart is bigger than mine Pet, and your capacity for forgiveness far exceeds anything I can try and drum up.

It is an honour to call you my friend.

<Deleted User> (8943)

Wed 17th Aug 2011 10:19

I want to make known that I love my parents.

My mum committed suicide when I was 18 months old; I never knew her but learned of her through both sides of my family.

My dad was my hero, he had a terrible childhood (though that is no excuse) and had a twist in his character. He was flawed as are we all. I do not nor will I ever condone what he did; I suffered at his hands.

I have forgiven them both - I live because of them.

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Wed 17th Aug 2011 10:12

For me, one of your very best - though I'm sorry it should be on such a painful subject.

It's meaningful and moving but also powerful and beautifully written. As Dave says, there is so much original imagery in here that makes what you are saying resound even more.

I found the idea of someone so brutal tending for a garden like that scary and deeply sad. I hope that writing this helped in some way. x

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John Coopey

Wed 17th Aug 2011 09:52

I think a writer's job is to make us feel what he/she wants us to, whether that's fear, pain, humour, curiosity etc.
You certainly do this P, and in spades.

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Tue 16th Aug 2011 23:35

This is powerful and heartfelt.
The lines which really make an impact for me are...

'Fists layer like mottled paint'

'a heart hammered sore
bruised ribs the prison where
she stifles every misgiving'

'to cross a final threshold
medicates forever sleep
where she can dance free
on a far and different shore'

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Elaine Booth

Tue 16th Aug 2011 22:02

Wow, what a day you've had! So happy for you. To write this must be wonderful for you. And wonderful to read. The empty cupboards image is so poignant and I am sure many of us will empathise with not only that but many other images you convey. Been thinking of you thorugh the day. Now, go kill them zombies!! XXX

<Deleted User> (8943)

Tue 16th Aug 2011 21:55

Thanks for your comments guys, much appreciated;

It did take courage to look deeply and honestly at what I knew and how I felt about it, then to write truthfully. The pieces are auto-biographical.

Ray, the vagueness is deliberate; it's not only hurt she's hiding and dragging egg shell feet is an antithesis.

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Ray Miller

Tue 16th Aug 2011 21:44

I like the first poem a lot, nice sonics. If you don't mind two suggestions:
In the 2nd line "things" is vague - a patchwork of hurts to hide?
I like the egg-shell feet but can such feet be said to drag?

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winston plowes

Tue 16th Aug 2011 21:36

I will use the three most spoken words by my daughter here - OMG. One of the most powerful poems I have read. For me this is

a fist full of words crushed
a heart full of tears pumped
a life full of dreams shelved

a poem empty of love lost.

Unlike Dave I don't think it's unflinching courage thats needed. The truth, in words (And I am assuming there is at least some truth in there, which is of course rather a leap, you are a poet after all) has the purity to heal once released.

Win xXx

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Dave Bradley

Tue 16th Aug 2011 20:32

These poems are so powerful, Petrova, and so painful. Just considered as poetry they work well. Images such as bruised ribs being a prison for feeling are striking. But they are so much more than just poems, needing unflinching courage to write and to share.

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