Theatre and book reviews by Janice Dempsey
In the Hairdresser's
almost done. I put my glasses on. From the mirror
my dead mother's face looks back at mine.
I realise I misjudged her.
That smirk, that look of knowing it all.
I'm not thinking what I used to think
she was thinking
when I used to look at her and see that face.
Dismantling Christmas Decorations
Crisp, curled like Dead Sea Scrolls,
last year’s ivy leaves drift drily down
from their temporary perch above the picture frames.
I’m late: Twelfth Night was yesterday.
Last year we left the LED tree from Habitat
twinkling on the coffee table until May.
And nothing special went wrong in twenty-twelve
(no more than usual
On the Windowsill
Crooked whittled muzzle, four-square
on short legs, ears askew,
it fits into my palm.
Poker-burned stripes are all the clue
to its identity. Wondering anew
just how the zebra came to survive,
I catch its puzzled wooden stare.
catches its breath
stops its normal wheeze and
starts singing, a smooth scale
rising through octaves
until I think it can go no higher
but it changes gear faultlessly
and I look at its name, ‘Beko’
I read that these fridges
have spontaneously combusted
roasting the owners as they
reach in for the milk, and
I am not vegetarian
nor superstitious but
briefly I wonder if my fridge is haunted
by a creature whose remains I’ve stored there.
I dismiss the thought –
it’s just a cheap fridge.
Mouse lies face down
millimetres from its last wish
pale sleek belly twisted
neck snapped by my cruel trap
Day 3 (1)
A crimson star, a wound
in the moon-surface
where my spoon breaks the thin skin;
the sharp tang of blackcurrant.
Now smooth on my tongue
© janice Windle 2013
Day 3 (2) Gardening
Blind pale torpedo
aims with vegetable tenacity
towards the house.
Wrenched from its secret earth
the bamboo root
a dragon with many legs.
Bleak winter blue of hazy sky.
Flat horizon far away and featureless.
Low rectangle of brick and ginger tile. Nearby
the wooden garage like a child’s construction:
a triangle a square. The drive
a rhombus of perspective lines.
A conifer stands like a guardsman in a bearskin.
I know this is a home with warmth inside.
I’ll soften this geometry, paint reality.
© Janice Windle 2013