21 Orde Avenue

We were too cold to oversleep

that first year in Wallsend.

The wind walked booming

into our lives, propelling us.


Battered, you were sweet to kiss,

breath and sweat of exertion

from riding into gale and air,

hair blow-waved, set by sea salt.


We ate no meat and my oven

was a cardboard box, foil-lined.

You brought treasures: lentils

and “A Kumquat for John Keats”.

◄ An Ending


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Anthony Emmerson

Wed 30th Nov 2011 14:23

Hi Elaine,

Like other commentators I much enjoyed this.



<Deleted User> (6315)

Sun 20th Nov 2011 22:00

ahh this is a poem I can read over Elaine..great stuff, just gonna play catch up on your other writes now...having terrible trouble with this site..sighs.. :)

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Cynthia Buell Thomas

Sun 20th Nov 2011 15:54

I like the 'wash' of small details that symbolize great events like 'survival', and 'love' that cannot be dislodged by hardships, strengthened even. Whatever is that 'thing' you have when you are young, that denies creature comforts and feeds instead on the gift of a book of poetry from a mystical, mythical century?

I do question 'walked'. Somehow it doesn't 'boom'. For me, alliteration doesn't save the word, even though it probably means also that you had only 'shanks mare' for transport.

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Ray Miller

Fri 18th Nov 2011 14:46

A sweet poem. In contrast to Laura, I thought the 2nd verse were least effective.I'm not entirely sure it makes grammatical sense. I know it's poetry but still...
I'd have preferred the end of the first verse to carry on, for you to be propelled somewhere specific.But that's just me.Lovely last verse.

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Andy N

Fri 18th Nov 2011 12:59

excellent, Elaine.. well structured stuff.. xx

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Laura Taylor

Fri 18th Nov 2011 09:28

Not that you're obsessed with Keats at all mate, honest ;p

I love that second verse, so evocative. And treasures being lentils - all the little things in life that make us happy :)

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Dave Bradley

Thu 17th Nov 2011 23:52

Enjoyed this Elaine.
I live on the coast here, very subject to the prevailing westerlies. Some days it's just not worth brushin' yer 'er. 5 yards walk to the car and it's skewiff.

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John Coopey

Thu 17th Nov 2011 23:31

Very nice, Elaine.
I worked at Wallsend a couple of years ago. I suspect the riverscape was alot different when you were there if the shipyards were still open.

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