Three Poems by Isabelle Kenyon

Silver Birch

The leaf of you grew around my waist
when you turned to dust I fell to the earth;
cold seeped through.
“I want to be buried under a tree,” you said to deaf ears. I buried the thought
until I buried your body.

The silver birch is frail, like you, but when sun
peeks, splatters its leaves,
it is a celebration of colour, the tongues of leaves chattering near my ears.

The Call of Grief

This pitted stone recurs –
crescent moon rises, ovulate, cry and feel grief on my breath,
sliver of it on my tongue,
stripped and reshaped –
this feral love, the call of it, finds the nooks and crannies of my mind,
the wild spaces, the pull of it:
it tastes of life.

Grief: once it has entered your life, it does not leave,
it survives
on sips of fluids; segments of bread–as you starve, grief speaks
in that moment, you do not breathe.

Mornings get harder.
The rain begins,
sweeps the pitted stone out to sea.


Coffee veins and possibility
a Dragon; a sloth
trying to coalesce.
White cliffs fading to blue
nausea and strong vinegar leads to
rows of barbed wire borders
coiled promises:
the absence,
the expanse of it,
people meet ocean
“take it back,” we whisper,
we confess, “we have destroyed it”.

One day after the burning
we gawp at the Notre Dame, yellow tape of bodies surrounding –
we know it will be saved,
phoenix feathers,
we know we will not,
mortal limbs.

Isabelle Kenyon @kenyon_isabelle is a northern UK poet and the author of This is not a Spectacle, Micro chapbook, The Trees Whispered (Origami Poetry Press) and Digging Holes To Another Continent (Clare Songbirds Publishing House, New York) and Potential (Ghost City Press). She is the editor of Fly on the Wall Press, a socially conscious small press for chapbooks and anthologies.

She was shortlisted for the Streetcake Experimental Writing Prize 2019. She has had poems published internationally. She has performed at Leeds International Festival as part of the 2019 ‘Sex Tapes’ and for  Apples and Snakes’ ‘Deranged Poetesses’ 2019.

The poem “The Call of Grief” is forthcoming from Growing Pains, her new pamphlet, to be released, mid 2020, from Indigo Dreams Publishing.

Banner Image (c) Robert Frede Kenter

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