All the Women Left – S.A. Leavesley

All the women left

Velveteened seats sprang back
like the thud of plush dominoes,
leaving the symphony hall quieter
than a shell which has forgotten
the sea, never dreamed of ocean
moonlight or the tide’s swell
and ebb. The auditorium’s
open mouth now missing half
its teeth. One man muttered,
“What the hell?” Others stared,
glanced around at each other,
shuffled their feet. Some shrugged,
then settled back in their seats.
The conductor rose, slowly,
unsteadily, began to move his arms
in a jolting black and white semaphore:
a violin started, stopped, started…
performance marked by an absence
of high notes and many silenced parts.

 

S.A. Leavesley is a poet, fiction writer, journalist, photographer, editor. Her latest books: ‘plenty-fish’ (Nine Arches Press, shortlisted in International Rubery Book Awards 2016) ‘Lampshades & Glass Rivers’ (Overton Poetry Prize 2015 winner) and a novella, ‘Kaleidoscope’. Her website is at: www.sarah-james.co.uk.

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Dear Clent – S.A. Leavesley

Dear Clent
 
Mist unfolds from your slopes’
envelopes of valley and sky.
Above winter peaks, the black script
of trees and bird flight.

My faltering steps
and words overshadowed
by the wind’s stone-swept stutters,
lost in crackles of fern and bracken.

Past snatches of nettle burn,
Sunday morning legs, summer sweat
and vista-slapped gasps –
moments

un-landscaped
yet shaping the knit of my bones.
Distilled from your hills’ daily moods
and light filtered through leaves,

a sense of peace, essence of me.
It should be easy – to keep
in touch, write home with love,
remember,

return…maybe.
Like this land, I’ve learned to live
with distance, and never sign off
without leaving

something hanging –
a raindrop, a branch, a ledge
at the edge, in hope
of a steady handhold.

 

S.A. Leavesley is a poet, fiction writer, journalist, photographer, editor. Her latest books: ‘plenty-fish’ (Nine Arches Press, shortlisted in International Rubery Book Awards 2016) ‘Lampshades & Glass Rivers’ (Overton Poetry Prize 2015 winner) and a novella, ‘Kaleidoscope’. Her website is at: www.sarah-james.co.uk.