Bernard – Lois E. Linkens

My piece ‘Bernard’ on SD:

Sudden Denouement Collective


The basement of Harry’s
With damp in the walls,
Grey chairs, digestives
And no outward calls.

The biscuits were homely.
Rik’s mother had kept
A Stash for the British
Beneath the back step.

She had soft eyes. When
The bad news came,
A line like a needle
Appeared at each name.

Three days, playing
Silent strip poker; ‘Let’s die all hot.’
Lurid, she whispered
To deafen the rot.

And I bought a new Renault
With the winnings.
She mouthed, from the pavement:
‘New, red beginnings.’

Lois is a poet and student from England. She is studying the literature of the Romantics and hopes their values and innovations will filter through into her own work. She is working on longer projects at present, with a hope to publish poetry collections and novels in the years to come. She is a feminist, an nostalgic optimist, and a quiet voice in the shadows…

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Sheep – Lois E. Linkens

My latest piece on FVR, for March’s theme of ‘Redemption’


A murm’ring herd gathers, like white beans. Stoic-bright-eyed sheep

Waiting, as they do, on the skyborn shepherd’s keep.

Dirtied coats. One’s lost a leg; there’s talk it were a fight and that.

One’s shiv’ring ‘neath a tatty hat

Weary from the morrow’s walk.

Sheep on the left is blue as day, pinks as daylight slips away.

Oft dusty rose or hot like Lycra’s leather, or shades of heather.

Their friend’s all sort of shade; afterstorm has struck at birth –

See, her image curving above the earth.

Toward the back – some boy

With poor wet coat, mud and sweat full cloy. Some have wool like wires

And few, unhappy few, have none at all

Curled like spring roses in a fragile, tissue ball.

These are the unwashed herd; the pebbles on the Bride’s pearlescent crown.

The sky fades, the grass dries and the whimp’ring cries

Are hid by trumpet…

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it’s all blue

black light

And I was away,
While you shone by the old red buildings
And years of wealth. I was away
Doing mine.

You spoke, you speak
Like you planned it; words like petals,
Soft and bright. I press them,
Between heavy books
And smell them on my bedside. You kept free,
When the walls drew in.

And I’ll keep free,
Choosing colour over sullenness
And silence. I know,
You liked his melting eyes

And his sharp face, and
How he made you feel, the shape of him

But in the black-light –
It’s all blue. A great field of it,
Loud and fluorescent and staining.

It’ll stop raining,
And the wet pavements
In the hot streetlamps
Will be gold.

The Candlemaker – Lois E. Linkens and Eric Syrdal


Shifting, ragged cloth
A funerary shrouded sound
Her footfalls bring dust
Hard and grey
From the cemetery ridge

Cheeks, streaked in salt
A patchwork of wrinkles
Her breath in grieving gasp
Dry and thin
Smell of evening invades

Fingers, knuckle bone dregs
Sepulchral grime under nails
Tangle and cling to life
Tremble and shake
All for the want of an offering


Back home, the blood has pooled
And the sheets are soaked.
Raspberry leaf, fenugreek
Linger on his jacket furs.

His boots take him –
The priest with his sad, kind eyes
And black book
Await. A cold blue face, like dough.
Purple lips and running nose.
That was bottled Hope.

Better fetch it, to be sure. Fetch the Light.

And by its amber glow,
The last gold leaf of autumn,
Lift cold palms to the unknown morning.
Frankincense, to ease the needless scars,
Oily hands shine in the soft light.


To wander
Beyond the light of this world
That is his fate
In lighting for him
This tiny beacon
She sets him on a path
She cannot follow

To guide his shade
Down the narrow path
Between worlds
Lined with broken shale
And scrub-lillies
And the whispered shadows
Of winged things
And many faced gods

Mayhaps her voice
Will pierce the veil
On the nights
Of All Hollow’s Eve
And his pale spirit
Will fix its eyes
Upon the mortal fabric
This light will be an anchor


These moonbeam threads
Are dull on the shelf. ‘Tis hours,
And blistered hands, and business
And yet ‘tis hardly work.

Lined up, soft white soldiers.

That flick’ring death (slow and hot and red)
Gives solace
In a quiet, empty place.


In the space of time
from wick to end
count the hours
until the dawn
and never shall it be
longer than the space
of a single heartbeat
for the one who stands
fist over heart
staring into
the frozen earth
that now holds a