The Fifth Day of Christmas: Deborah Alma, Brian Johnstone

 

 

 

Playing Scrabble with my New Lover

 

 

So stupid, but I hadn’t remembered

that the last time I’d played

was in the old house,

until I found the two stubby pencils,

torn envelopes addressed to us both

and old scores, settled.

 

 

I poured the wine, apologised

for not being much fun,

while he spelt out L..O…V…E.

But his score was only seven

and I said,

you should have kept the V

for another time.

 

 

Deborah Alma was born in London and lives in Ludlow. She writes poetry, runs poetry workshops for children and dementia sufferers and is studying for an MA in Creative Writing at Keele University. She is also Emergency Poet in her 1960’s ambulance.

 

 

Xmas Present

 

The present, tense with pressures,
presents itself in gifts mapped
out as these: a sop to fashion,
present pop, tradition wrapped
in sentiment.  And I must choose
the necessary, the trivial, the apt.
Bowed down by bleak present-
iment, browned off and strapped
for cash, I’m feeling hassled,
pressured, feeling present-tense.

 

 

Brian Johnstone’s latest collection is The Book of Belongings (Arc, 2009). His poetry has appeared throughout Britain, in America and Europe. His poems have been translated into over 10 different languages. In 2009 Terra Incognita was published by L’Officina (Vicenza).

 

5 comments

  1. I think that the Deb Alma poem is just perfect – how can you say so much in so few words. Flat on the surface and deeply riven underneath. And funny, very funny. Just what I needed after all the Christmas tinsel!

  2. I think that the Deborah Alma poem is just perfect – how can you say so much in so few words. Flat on the surface and deeply riven underneath. And funny, very funny. Just what I needed after all the Christmas tinsel!

  3. Thank you! I love both ‘Playing Scrabble…’ – a neat, wry, gorgeous jewel – and the playful punning of ‘Xmas Present’.

  4. Maggie Mackay

    Oh how the Deborah Alma poem sticks in my mind. Clear,concise and touches a nerve.Reminds me of Wendy Cope. And we’ve all played Scrabble at some time… the unspoken that needs to be heard?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


*