Annest Gwilym /a walk in black and white/

a walk in black and white

It is as though the filter of recall is itself altered,
so that it blocks out everything but the darkest
colors of the spectrum.
(Caroline Kettlewell)

the clock is stuck at 3am
I step out and inhale the night
feel its tense darkness
the wind whispers to me in Latin
I answer in the language of owls
in a neighbour’s garden
Venetian blinds dissect light into slices
Cineraria glows like bones
a weeping willow tree drips moisture
Queen of the Night tulips
Before the Storm irises   Black Star lilies
a shady brocade in all the colours of thunder
the apple I bite into is full of ashes
flesh waxy and necrotic

in smoky light   my fear is prong-set
as I walk past trees with bare branches
that catch in my hair   a scabby moon
shows its broken face   battered like a boxer’s
at the bottom of the hill the sea pours like mercury
puddles of grainy light beneath lamp-posts
illuminate a mob of rat-faced boys
cat-faced girls looking for things to break
eyes like daggers   figures huddle outside the pub
faces like gargoyles   or characters
from Christ Before Pilate by Hieronymus Bosch
dust collects beneath my nails
cobwebs in my hair
I’m back at my house   it is still 3am



Annest Gwilym lives in North Wales, near the Snowdonia National Park, with her Jack Russell terrier. She is a native Welsh speaker. Her writing has been published in a number of literary magazines and anthologies including The Cannon’s Mouth, The Journal, Clear Poetry, Poetry Space, Reach Poetry, the Poetry Kit website, the Templar annual competition anthology Mill (2015), and the University of Chester’s competition anthology Patches of Light (2016). She has received four Special Commendations and one Shortlisted in writing competitions in recent years. She was joint runner-up in the Cheshire Prize for Literature 2015, for short fiction. Her interests include beachcombing for that elusive chunk of ambergris, and making her own jewellery, which she sells.


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