The Isis Poetry Competition HT21 Shortlist

by | April 12, 2021


    it is long past time for coffee

       the girls play in the garden

and freeze         when they touch each-other


what life is there left for those of us

who wait and wait for the dust to settle

  what humour is there in prophecy


my bird-hands and my bird-eyes

are interested only             in what is present

in what presents itself


you wish to be held first and fast

you wish to be             a creature who will laugh

i am afraid of the way you veil things


i am afraid that one of these plans of yours will work

  and that i’ll take something from you

you think only in shorthand                  you are either you or not-you ∎


Words by Alexandra Holmes. Art by Nat Cheung.