Near Miss – Sharon Phillips

Near Miss
for Marc Bolan

Perhaps that first impact gets shifted
an inch: the Mini scrapes the fence post
and stalls before it can smack the tree;
they get out giggling, stoned or pissed
and he lives to write songs that revive
his career, to sing ‘Heroes’ with Bowie
at Live Aid or even strut a Vegas stage
in silver spandex, his froth of curls dyed
matt black, his pout fossilised by botox.

Or maybe he’s scared enough to strike
a deal with fate: quits booze and drugs,
retires from rock, gives away his cash
—so here he is, slouched in Outpatients,
his head fuzzed white, his face puffy
with steroids, looking up from his book
when the nurse calls out ‘Mr. Bolan!’


Sharon’s poems have been published online and in print, and have been shortlisted for the Bridport Prize and the WoLF Poetry Competition. Sharon won the Borderlines Poetry Competition in 2017 and was among the winners of the Poetry Society Members’ Competition in November 2018. She lives on the Isle of Portland.

Making space – Sharon Phillips

Making space

When I woke in the night, there was Mum
sat on the edge of my bed.
Shove over, she said, make me some space.

She was all done up to go out,
her face Max Factor fair,
lips slicked vivid coral,
red hair shiny and newly cut.

Put auburn, she said, not red,
or they’ll think I’m ginger.

She was scrawny when we last met,
mouth agape, skin yellow, eyes sunk.

You’re never going to put that, are you?
Cheeky mare, showing me up so much.

Stilettos clacked on the floorboards.
Come and see, she said,
look at the snow.

Snowflakes whirled so giddy fast
I thought I was falling up.

It’s only a dream, my homing pigeon.
Let me see if you’re hot.
Her hand rested on my forehead.

That’s better, she said,
that’s a nicer thing to write.


Sharon’s poems have most recently appeared on Bluepepper, The Open Mouse, Amaryllis and Ink Sweat and Tears. In 2017 she won the Borderlines Poetry Competition with her poem ‘Tales of Doggerland’ and was also shortlisted for the Bridport Prize.