Sunday, 29 September 2013

The Invisible Child

You saw your mother raped and beaten,
not once, but again, again and again.
You saw him cut your mother.
They knew you saw,
they heard your cry;
but they did not listen.
They did not help you,
we don’t know why.

They saw the bruises, the black eyes,
the contusions on your skull.
They saw you eat dirt,
they saw you steal food,
they saw you eat waste from filthy bins,
they saw you eat beans planted in the earth.
They saw that your body was a bag of bones
and they saw that your bones were broken.
They saw you forced to swallow salt,
they saw you half drowned;
but they listened to your mother’s lies,
not to you.

At four years old you weighed 10 kilos,
27 ‘incidents’ required police involvement.

They saw you,
Daniel, before his troubles began.
they all saw you;
they all heard you,
yet you were
a hungry ghost with no voice.
You suffered in a starved silence,
until you broke.
You died, in Britain, in 2012
Now, only now, we listen to your cry.
(Daniel Pelka, b. 15.07.2007, d. 3.03.2012)
*The figure never changes. One in four households in the UK experience domestic abuse. Most often there is an invisible child, at least one.

Friday, 20 September 2013

The Hunter

Breathing stops,
the moment stills.
There he is, above -
the hunter.
Out of nowhere,
watching, waiting,
magically held in the clear air.

Breathe again as
wingtips quiver against forever blue.
He hangs, flawlessly stable.
Eyes search the ground;
this singular concentration
has one purpose - prey.

The great wide sky
he shares with others, far up high;
distant gulls and contrails,
but he sees only the heather,
and the meat within,
and me, watching the watcher.

Gorse scent on the hillside
is precursor of Spring.
The church bell just shows,
above the cliff.

The only sound, a
tiny stream.
Waterfalls in miniature
pour over rocks,
to reach the beach,  far below.

But the hunter,
only he,
is the absolute grace of this place.

(Kestrel over Mwnt, April 2013. )

 'The Hunter' appears with 23 other poems in the booklet PENfro Poets 2013.
All the poems were written by members of PENfro Poets, a group that began life at a poetry workshop at the PENfro Book Festival, 2012 at Rhosygilwen, Pembrokeshire.
Published by Menter Rhosygilwen, with financial assistance from the PENfro Book Festival, PENfro Poets 2013 is available to order by post (£2 a copy, plus £1.50 p&p) by emailing me at :