d w a r d   K e m p



word - image - story 




Central Park, Early March

I’m sorry but
have you ever actually looked
at how a dry stick brings forth leaves?

How a twig cracked
grey as the city
is pierced with freshness?

And if these so simple and unconscious can
year and year
perform such miracles

who would say wet and intricate
of one substance with the sea
that anything is impossible for us?


Juliet and her Baby

finding her shroud soaked
with her lover’s blood
rose up and left the tomb

Met the friar
who took her home
and there finished the story
knitting the untidy ends

For a time she mourned
the tragic loss
of lover, fiancé and cos
in due course married

Had children
lost them too
but not all
and now in her middleyears

Romeo a loose memory
she sits
hips heavy
babe breasted

The perfect madonna


Autumn, By the Museum

The babyfaced man has a baby in a pack
on his back and his puffajacket
puffs as if he expected another;
the mother – electrically thin –
jogs to keep abreast of him.

They pass the café where
the staff are still unclear
if they are open or closed
where 2 boys bald as newborn
fawn on their too blond parent

rent from the womb of books
doodle from heart
waiting for the rain to start.

Newcomers are now turned back
like clocks or beds,
noone having read the signs
till they encounter Disappointment
smiling from the till.

when it pours
all the cafés will be furled
and all umbrellas in the world
will be indoors.


Note for Inveterate Romantics

if you fear the love of your life may not always be the love of your life you should make a list ideally early on while you have still some modicum of indifference after the third date say and before they start using your shampoo and this list should be of all their faults and foibles all their irritating habits anything that really gets up your nose the way they eat the way they laugh their unwearable garments their unbearable taste in music and you must do it early and certainly before they have met your parents because the difference between indifference and love is only the difference between a statement and an exclamation as in he slurps his spaghetti and hey! he slurps his spaghetti! and the purpose of this list is that when the love of your life is no longer the love of your life and you are mired in dreams of paradise lost you have a means to remind you that things were not always so perfect that there was a process of acclimatisation which is all too easily forgot as when one develops a taste for a new food sushi say one ceases to recollect the time when the idea of eating raw fish made one gag and thus you will not close yourself off to the rest of the world thinking all these others are as nothing compared to the vision of perfection who has left me down here in the gutter but remember instead that the vision of perfection once had at least one foot off the kerb and that even paradise has a learning curve and this way you will give yourself a fighting chance of finding a way back to Eden

however do not allow the list to fall into the hands of the love of your life or they are unlikely to be the love of your life for long