The Colour of Faith – by Nicky Phillips

 

It seemed the noises in his nightmares
were the remains of his sanity exploding,

the last bullets of ambition rolling away.
When his dreams of flying planes

were dashed by colour blindness,
the cruelty and young blood of war

were witnessed at ground level
then locked away, too alarming to rethink.

Any god there might have been
was shot to dust in the arms of lost friends.

Death was a slamming door,
beyond which circled a black void.

Home again, he stayed unswayed
by frippery and fancy, took no delight

in the gentle pastels of first sweet peas,
silver moon-slivers, bluebells’ dense scent.

At the end, the very end,
believing his nurses were angels,

he struggled to shield his eyes
as he was drawn into pure white light

he alone could see.

 

 

Nicky Phillips lives and writes in rural Hertfordshire, where she’s a member of Ware Poets. Her poems have appeared in Brittle Star, South Bank Poetry, and SOUTH; at Ink, Sweat and Tears, The Lake and Snakeskin; and in various anthologies. She delighted in being involved in Jo Bell’s ‘52’ Project.

P Plates – by Nicky Phillips

 

I watch you shoot off, the first time,
with a display of pride and speed that zigzags
you into the reserve of everyman’s land,
the centre of the countryside lane.
No cats’ eyes, no cats, just the odd fox
or badger, now at your mercy.

Heavy metal pumps out of the battered –
but affordable – Fiesta’s sound system.
Your foot taps the accelerator,
the engine roars, carries you faster still.
Where? Where are you heading?
Are you in top gear or have you higher to climb?

How many neat three-point-about-turns
have your early years forced you into?
Be ready for emergency stops, diversions that lead
you away from your proposed destination.
Know your road without relying on SatNav,
but always have its default set on Home.

 

 

Nicky Phillips lives and writes in rural Hertfordshire, where she’s a member of Ware Poets. Her poems have appeared in Brittle Star, South Bank Poetry, and SOUTH; at Ink, Sweat and Tears, The Lake and Snakeskin; and in various anthologies. She delighted in being involved in Jo Bell’s ‘52’ Project.

The nearly I hope will last a while longer – by Nicky Phillips

It’s nearly time; I know that.
Let me savour the moments,

relish my dashes to alter her clock,
March and October, since she remonstrated
with the vicar for being an hour late,

laugh about the night she presents herself at A&E,
scared witless by the regular bleeping in her ear,
leaving the smoke alarm, battery run down, at home,

delight in the funny sounds in her car
when the mechanic left the radio on
and she didn’t know she had one,

cherish the request to be taken to the consultant
about those marks from the cataract operations,
being unused to seeing her own wrinkles,

admire her jaunty steps into The Old Bell
to claim the Free WiFi offered outside,
thinking it was alcoholic.

I’m not quite ready to own the clock.

Nicky Phillips lives and writes in rural Hertfordshire, where she’s a member of Ware Poets. Her poems have appeared in Brittle Star, South Bank Poetry, and SOUTH; at Ink, Sweat and Tears, The Lake and Snakeskin; and in various anthologies. She delighted in being involved in Jo Bell’s ‘52’ Project.

Revision – by Nicky Phillips

 

An empty chocolate digestive packet
lies on the desk in a nest of crumbs.

Underneath, a GCSE timetable,
already half struck through in red.

Einaudi is doing his best
to keep things calm.

I hand her a cup of tea; she stretches
for it, knocking Dante to the floor.

It isn’t the smile I note, but those dark pools
of panic that no amount of kindness,

extra Italian lessons or trips to Venice
can dilute. How to remind her that we all have

different strengths? Through the window
there’s the first glimpse of cowslip,

a sky of cracked gold, her crazy spaniel, doing tricks.
She giggles. I hold out her guitar. She grabs it.

 

 

 

 

Nicky Phillips lives and writes in rural Hertfordshire, where she’s a member of Ware Poets. Her poems have appeared in Brittle Star, South Bank Poetry, and SOUTH; at Ink, Sweat and Tears, The Lake and Snakeskin; and in various anthologies. She delighted in being involved in Jo Bell’s ‘52’ Project.