William Bedford

 

 

 

The Stove
i.m. Eleanor Grey

The stove in the sunken classroom
burns coke to a yellow glow,
warming your storyteller’s murmur.

St Wulfram’s spire chills the room,
graves and gargoyles
grinning to the ravens’ croak.

You kept a fireguard round the fire,
reading at the end of each school day:
faraway trees and magic circles,

the gate into the secret garden,
the lonely traveller at the moonlit door.
The stove has been taken away,

and the children who sang in a choir
at the side of your cold grave
have already left the classroom –

where you sit in your old chair,
and the stove burns coke to a yellow glow,
warming your storyteller’s murmur.

 

 

 

William Bedford’s selected poems, Collecting Bottle Tops, and selected short stories, None of the Cadillacs Was Pink, were both published in 2009. A new collection of poems, The Fen Dancing, was published in March 2014.  This year he won both the London Magazine International Poetry Competition and the Roundel Poetry Competition.

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