The nettle spinner





Unsteadily into the light

a bumblebee sipping nettle flowers

now in shatters on a field

her party dress partially burned

organza, silk tulle

becomes just another trope

for the scarred and sunken

sound of a whipping wind: is it not?

The debris of a wake

struck by the silence

alters the colours

gathers into sketchbooks


transplanting, repotting

scarlet geraniums

crowded, canned music

overripe pomegranate

artichoke thistle, inedible.


With her photos in black and white


no longer familiar


you see all these things

doodles of a child

mute stoical reportage

atrophied from disuse.

Says, the list just doesn’t end

the day she stopped trying

closing pine shutters

she keeps taking pictures

does not want to talk about it


like a mask, fabric lay on the table

the room bare, leaded-glass.

She too, has suffered much


chores seem to her

an unfair burden, she says


shuffling to the teakettle,


creating theatre with her

a genius loci –spirit of place

her mother’s house

paved with stones and mosaics

woman of forty odd

aged ten years overnight

reflected in the window


memories of her children

become invisible.



Ilona Martonfi Author of two poetry books, Blue Poppy, (Coracle, 2009.) Black Grass, (Broken Rules, 2012). Forthcoming, The Snow Kimono, (Inanna, 2015). Writes in Vallum, Tuck, The Fiddlehead, Serai, Steel Chisel, and elsewhere. Founder/producer Yellow Door and Visual Arts Centre Readings, co-founder of Lovers and Others. QWF 2010 Community Award.