Two poems by Linda Preston


The puppet master who is always dusted with darkness,
is about to end his performance.
His marionette has slithered staring to the stage floor
where her mother, father and sister,
will never have to meet her empty eyes, or see
exactly how she is sprawled and trampled.
The puppet master is our intermediary  
his maimed marionette cannot speak or weep
without skilful manipulation – of his icy fingers.
He has taught her silence like a prayer.


I see you in shifting shadows
I see you slipping slyly from the gallows
I see you strutting down the street
spurs chinking on your feet.
I see you chewing a cigar in smoky bars
busy cheating at cards.
The whiskey on your breath
could make a girl dizzy.
I survive your glacier glare
But, I’m aware death comes so easily to you…

I see you in petrol stains on rain soaked roads
rainbow coloured, slowly dissolving at the edges.
I see you lurking outside my door late at night
smirking insanely
like a man on a ledge, holding on
waiting for the shock
that will send him falling
into darkness.

• Linda Preston says “It’s cold here on the dark side of the moon – but I have everything I need for now – freshly bakes scones & cream, a Ted Hughes poetry book and a picture of Brad Pitt not wearing very much!”

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