Circus Girls – Jennie Farley

Circus Girls

I’m sitting at the top of the fire escape
in my pyjamas, thinking it’d be fun
to abseil down. With Pamela.
Pamela is Head Girl. I adore her thighs!
As she gallops along the hockey pitch
something inside me fizzes
like a Roman candle.

We will tie ourselves together
with dressing gown cords,
rope them to the topmost step.
Clasping each other’s waists
we’ll glide down through watching stars
and land in the middle of the Big Top
at one crack of the Ringmaster’s whip.

 

Jennie Farley is a published poet, workshop leader and teacher living in Cheltenham.
Her work has featured in magazines including Prole, Under the Radar, The Interpreter’s House, and been performed at festivals.  Her first collection was Her Grandmother Skating(Indigo Dreams Publishing 2016) followed by Hex (IDP 2018). She is working on a short pamphlet The Gymslip Girls.

Trompe l’Oeil – Jennie Farley

Trompe l’Oeil

It’s something about the way
he wields the rag that inspires her,

like the way the butcher’s thumbs
suggested a gladiator’s blood-smeared thighs,

and the fishmonger’s wrists, slippery wet
with fish scales, made her think of Poseidon.

The surrealist painter takes up her palette.
The window cleaner agrees to pose,

turns his hand to display a grubby palm.
With her brush she hammers in the nail.

 

Jennie Farley is a published poet, workshop leader and teacher. Her poetry has featured in magazines including New Welsh Review, Under the Radar, The Interpreter’s House and webzines. She runs events for an iconic arts club, NewBohemians@CharltonKings. Her first collection My Grandmother Skating (Indigo Dreams Pub) published 2016. Her new book Hex (IDP) out 2018.

Lead – Jennie Farley

Lead

She wore shoes of lead to keep
her grounded. They were ugly,
heavy, gave her blisters.

One day in a fit of pique
she tore at the leather straps,
tugged off the buckles.

She rose up slowly, a wash
of cool air bathing her feet.
Upright, straight-backed,

her arms stiff by the sides
of her frilly pink frock.
There was no going back

to Mum and Dad and Chloe
the cat, the house and garden,
busy streets. Shoeless,

she rose above the steeple,
through a flock of birds,
through air balloons,

through clouds,
through the rays of the sun,
through midnight stars,

and kept on rising …

 

Jennie Farley is a published poet, workshop leader and teacher. Her poetry has featured in magazines including New Welsh Review, Under the Radar, The Interpreter’s House and webzines. She runs events for an iconic arts club, NewBohemians@CharltonKings. Her first collection My Grandmother Skating (Indigo Dreams Pub) published 2016. Her new book Hex (IDP) out 2018.

Skinny Dipping – Jennie Farley

Skinny Dipping
 
You should go skinny dipping, he says.
It will free you up. I fling off
my evening dress, and jump.
I never thought the Cherwell
could be so cold in May.

The icy splash embraces me.
Hands of frosted ice stroke my arms,
legs, breasts. My lips tingle
with astonishment.  I never thought
it would feel so good, a delicious pain,
a coup de foudre.  I feel free (he is right
about that), but not freed up to let him
chortle filthy words in my ear, shove
his fat tongue into my mouth,
grab my bottom with a big hot paw.
Next year he can take someone
else to the Ball!

I am free and floating. In love
with myself. I am wearing water
like a silk gown, a lover’s gift.

I swim away from the river bank, away.

 

Jennie Farley is a published poet, workshop leader and teacher. Her poetry has featured in many magazines including New Welsh Review, Under the Radar, The Interpreter’s House, Prole. Her latest collection My Grandmother Skating is published by Indigo Dreams Publishing 2016.  Jennie founded and runs NewBohemians@CharltonKings providing regular events of poetry, performance and music at deepspaceworks art centre. She lives in Cheltenham.
www.indigodreams.co.uk/jennie-farley/4593164951

The Day I Rescued a Merman – Jennie Farley

The Day I Rescued a Merman
 
I found him washed up on the beach
slumped against the coastguard station.
His face was beautiful like the carving of a god,

his chest bronzed though streaked with salt.
I sat down beside him and gently stroked
his tail.  It wasn’t slithery, but warm and dry,

the scales glittering like his sea glass eyes.
I took him home for a fish supper.  We slouched
on the sofa, licking our fingers.  I’d hoped for

tales of buried ship treasure, mermaids, whales,
but he didn’t speak, just smiled.  I ran him a bath,
testing for sea chill with my elbow.  He slid down

in the water, folded his tail over the side,
closed his eyes.  I like to think he found pleasure
in the scented bubbles, in the love songs I crooned to him.

 

Jennie Farley is a published poet, workshop leader and teacher. Her poetry has featured in many magazines including New Welsh Review, Under the Radar, The Interpreter’s House, Prole. Her latest collection My Grandmother Skating is published by Indigo Dreams Publishing 2016.  Jennie founded and runs NewBohemians@CharltonKings providing regular events of poetry, performance and music at deepspaceworks art centre. She lives in Cheltenham.
www.indigodreams.co.uk/jennie-farley/4593164951