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Cathy Bryant

January 2010

Poems of Experience


Martinet is such a lovely word. It sounds like
a tiny bird or a sweet instrument.
But I remember her yelling, screaming, hitting
As we marched, not far or fast enough,
As we advanced over the mud, threw ourselves down,
fired, advanced again while the next line covered us.
Running, those who were still alive, when it was for real,
Not practise. No fingers running over an instrument.
No sweet song.
I carried on running after the war, ran into my husband,
ran into marriage and yelling, and screaming, and hitting.
His eyes like hers, forcing me on, but not to keep me alive.
On, on, he threw me down in the mud, and I’d get up,
Carrying on, thrown down again against the gas oven.
A little bird, broken. The violin strings taut then torn.
You can see it in my paintings.
The yelling, the screaming, the hitting.
Blobs of dead white thrown in grey-mud-brown,
Crimson spatters, at the mercy of the martinet,
Me broken, dying, always running,
Never, ever, ever, ever
At ease.

After hearing a mainstream politician speak

What makes them think
That Family Values
And Sex and Violence
Are different things?
Do they think about it at all?
I had a solid right-wing grounding
In morality and, less publicly, molestation,
By a pillock of the community.
Don’t they know?
Do they think it’ll go away
If we wear suits and don’t swear?
Why don’t they understand?
The nuclear family is explosive.
The fallout extensive.
Please consider disarming this unit
And implementing alternative sources
Of Power.

On the Commune

Seeing Suky, dancing in the sunlight, both the sun and Suky unaware,
Light and woman playing, laughing, moving, circling, shining
I, with my unseen cripple’s stare, drinking in their oblivious beauty,

Faded rose top, faded blue skirt, rippling laughter in lucent lines,
Barefoot, golden, rays playing about and with her,
Moving, circling, laughing, both the light and the woman,

Suky walks away, to sow, to reap, to prune, to taste,
Going and glowing.
The light grows calm and somnolent.
I close my eyes; I see them still, the sun and Suky,

My memories dance, move, circle and shine,
My pain put aside, the day a glory, rppling, playing
Moving, cricling, shining, laughing and I

Cathy Bryant is 41, disabled, vegan and cheerful, and lives in Manchester, UK. She performs her poetry regularly at local events, and her stories and poems have been published all over the world in such magazines and books as: Poems for Big Kids, Midnight Times, Velvet, The Ugly Tree, and The Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine. To contact Cathy visit her website www.cathybryant.co.uk .

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