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Showing posts from March 28, 2007

A Selection of Poems from SECRET LEOPARD by Rosemary Nissen-Wade

Bye-Bye Barbie
A fable of Leah’s dolls

Betty with the home-made clothes
glares across the room at Barbie
who is shop-dressed, brand new,
buxom and coolly smiling.

Betty with the home-made hate
sidles across the room on her rag bum
sneakily, bit by bit, so Leah won’t see.
She is dragging the toy soldier’s axe.

Betty with the built-up hours
of staring across the room
has been inventing stories.
She is calling herself Cinderella.

She is calling herself Beauty
and Orphan, and Princess – and right.
Barbie, watching round-eyed, is mesmerised
as Stepmother/Ogre/Troll lunges for her blood.

© Rosemary Nissen-Wade 1990
First published Second Degree Tampering (Sybylla 1992)
In Walking the Dogs (Pariah Press anthology)
Also in Secret Leopard: New and selected poems 1974-2005, Alyscamps Press (Paris) 2005


My stepfather showed me oceans.

Now these midnight moments
call and flesh the ketch
from childhood,
dusted by moonlight,
perfectly still
at the end of the pier.

That New Year’s Eve we danced
in circles on the sa…