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2 poems by James Appleyard

Conversation with my Imagined Father 

These photographs don’t yet exist, 

the ones with you smiling,

cracked edges 

bleached out by piercing UV rays 

no one can see. 

But in them, we sit next to each other,  

your garden still growing,

my son on your lap 

as he clambers to your shoulder 

planting little vowels directly in your ear. 

Our glasses, half emptied,

rest in the sunshine,

a nimbus of pollen

lifting through the air. 

As words settle between us 

they built something bigger:

a course through which

floods of waters could run,

our distance resting itself. 

Imagined Conversation with my Father 

Drug free, drink free,

your weight back to normal,

I’m so glad you’ve found your feet again.

Your cancer sores healed and

that big black mass 

delivered into a final sermon,

atomised to a pin prick,

lost in your enlivened blood stream.

That sterilised room finally left behind.

The lights turned out.


James Appleyard is a London-based poet and writer. He edits and runs Invisible Hand Press. His work has appeared in numerous publications including Aesthetica Magazine and has been anthologised by Medusa's Laugh Press.


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