I am a captive to your step,

lamentando on a theme

with tip-toe turns and silent twirls

to inventive time signatures.

I think a coda is required.

Or perhaps a lively stomp

dampening the demon heat,

white to blood red,

cooling to ash.


From A Bankrupt's Diary Copyright © 2018 Ceinwen Wilson

Battle fatigue

You came to me as an unexpected guest,

parachuting in from a hostile zone,

and as we sat away from the scream

the war’s din lessened to an abstract dream.

Peace enveloped us as we talked;

hung about our lips,

poured through your every syllable

straining to recall the vow

through melancholy verse, healing,

revealing the scar. Then you laughed.

And we were of one mind

in an instant,

for a moment understood

as long as it allowed.


From A Bankrupt's Diary Copyright © 2018 Ceinwen Wilson

Coffee pot routine

We visit the theme time and again

and draw the same conclusion

where the porcelain cups used

to play out routine,

objects, at once familiar

grant redundant aid when

questions stab at problems

challenged then rebuked, never

to see the uncluttered space behind

those repurposed implements.

Hollow clattering drowns out

the bubbling stovetop coffee.

And I wait

for a safe distance when

no longer of use, I cannot comply.

And it is silent.

From A Bankrupt's Diary Copyright © 2018 Ceinwen Wilson


I wrap objects in newspaper

with deliberate care.


They whisper evocatively.


In the dark

they journey to another place,

another in-between space,

witnesses of a past to mourn.


A waiting game is being played.


They are winning the charade

and draw me in with sepia hues,

glanced through misted panes of glass

distorted to anthracite decay.


And while nomadic and free,

in mocking silence they look on

and laugh at me.


From A Bankrupt's Diary Copyright © 2018 Ceinwen Wilson


Do you remember when

skinny, pale and winter skinned

we jetted off to tropical sands,

the island of my father’s birth,

happy, clueless newlyweds?

You ask if I have any regrets.

I smile and turn to my own thoughts.

What a question.

I meet your eyes, blue lagoons,

glinting pools of steadfast warmth

and ask if you’d like a cup of tea.


‘Lovely,’ you say,

smiling back at me.


From A Bankrupt's Diary Copyright © 2018 Ceinwen Wilson

Phone calls

It sits on the desk and rings all day.

My stomach sinks while my

head prepares to be underwhelmed

as I give the rehearsed reply.


I decide to ignore 0844, 0845

and numbers of futile cause


while relations ring with equal gravity,

on and on, an unabated, fixed reminder

of what cannot be undone,

evoking Oscar Wilde.

(Only relatives, or creditors, ever ring in

that Wagnerian manner.)

A rude intruder demanding

the involuntary final act.


Then there is silence, yet

the perturbed shrill resonates

in every corner

of every room,

subdued coercing tones of doubt.


From A Bankrupt's Diary Copyright © 2018 Ceinwen Wilson