Catherine Edmunds


She lays a gesso ground. It suits her mood
when graphite flows too swiftly from her mind
to tease a picture; all her senses blind
with blurry marks instead of certitude.
She squeezes from the tube. The pigment slips
past steely lips and into other hues
already on her palette: now she'll use
a scoop of colour on her fingertips
to blend and spread and smooth until at last,
emerging from the canvas as each tint
describes subconscious thoughts and leaves a hint –
a shape appears. A face. She holds it fast.
But portrait stares at painter, filled with glee
at having forced the artist's hand to see.

* * *


Albert trundles the trolley along the gritted path.
He needs to return to the supermarket
millions of silent miles away.

Scorched light shines on his hunched
and purposeful back. Nobody else
is here to see his mean clarity. He blasphemes
under his breath
when one of the wheels catches
moves on.

His face is red: part from exertion
and part reflected light from the planet's surface

He knows he will never reach ASDA.


Catherine Edmunds trained as a classical musician, but gave performing ten years ago when she was diagnosed with ME/CFS. Still unable to go out to work, she has spent the last decade developing her writing and illustrating skills. Her published works include wormwood, earth and honey a full length poetry collection as well as two novels Small Poisons and Serpentine, all published by Circaidy Gregory Press. See her webpage at