Lynn White

Lynn White

Lynn White lives in north Wales. Her work is influenced by issues of social justice and events, places and people she has known or imagined. She is especially interested in exploring the boundaries of dream, fantasy and reality. Her poem ‘A Rose For Gaza’ was shortlisted for the Theatre Cloud ‘War Poetry for Today’ competition 2014. This and many other poems, have been widely published in anthologies and journals such as Vagabond Press, Apogee, Firewords, Indie Soleil, Light Journal and Snapdragon.

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Spanish Room

We were pleased when the smiling nun
shook her head.
They were full, the lorry driver told us.
He was disappointed.
He thought we’d be safer
in the out of town convent than in the city.
He’d grown concerned for our safety
on our long journey through France.
He was nice – ‘doux, comme la sucre’
my friend would often tell him.
But he didn’t understand her accent.

He said his lorry wouldn’t fit
the narrow streets, so
we took a cab to the pension he knew.
Our first Spanish room
and we were happy!
The tiles were cool, if dusty.
We covered the TV.
We didn’t need it.
Two single beds pushed together
with one mattress
to make a ‘cama matrimonial’,
normality in Spain.
The owner was nice,
‘doux, comme la sucre’
my friend told him.
But he spoke no French.

We shopped in the corner shop with
it’s curved window
and explored the streets
of clubs and cafes and bars and lively people
enjoying the night.
And then we returned home.
Home to a locked door that
no amount of banging or shouting would
cause to open.
A friendly passer by understood our plight
and clapped his hands loudly.
A man appeared with a bunch of keys,
enough to fit the locks of several streets.
Normality when Franco reigned.
He let us in with a smile.
He was ‘doux, comme la sucre’
my friend told him,
but he didn’t understand.

Forty years later we found the street.
The curved shop window gave it away.
It was all still there, though only in facade,
waiting for reconstruction.
It was our first Spanish room
and we were happy.
The facade of a memory that
is still there and remains:
‘doux, comme la sucre’.
And we understand.

First published in Blue Fifth Review, Poetry Special, May 2017

 
Barcelona Sandals

Standing in the Andorra snow
shivering in our Barcelona sandals.
Glad of a lift down to Foix
as darkness was falling.
And the driver knew a hotel,
Hotel du Centre.
Very grand
and full
of people looking down
long noses.
But the driver knew the owner
who was a kind man,
a nice man.
So we shouldn’t worry
about the cost, he said.

A lovely room
and in the morning,
breakfast!
We must eat
the owner said.
Warm bread and jam.
Coffee with hot milk
which tasted sour.
But I don’t like
the taste of milk,
anyway,
so most likely
it was sweet.

And then the bill.
But there was no bill.
Save it for the journey,
the owner said.
A kind man,
a nice man,
who believed
the driver’s story,
whatever it was.

A few years later,
we returned to Foix
and went to find
Hotel du Centre.
But it wasn’t there.
No one knew it.
It didn’t exist.
Did it ever exist?
Did any of it happen?
Or did we somehow
share
a memory
from our
imaginations.

First published in Scarlet Leaf Review, May 2016

 
The Fishermen

The wall ran all along one side of the bay,
steps up from the port at one end,
down to the beach at the other.
I climbed up the steps
and looked over.
So many fish.
Huge fish.
Swirling silver moons in a day blue sky.
A net would have scooped them up
and broken with the weight.
The fishermen were there with their rods set up,
like the fish almost touching,
so many and so close,
making
parallel black lines against the sky
like a blue print for lunch provision.
I walked down the steps to the beach.
Few people were there so early.
Morning was the fisherman’s time
of day,
not the sunbather’s.
I went back along the wall
when the fishermen were packing up,
heading home for lunch.
Carrying their fish,
I thought.
But no,
it was a delusion
to imagine
they would eat fish for dinner.
Not those fish, anyway.
All were returned to the sea.
Such is the sport of the fisherman.

First published in Scarlet Leaf Review, January 2018

 
All poems on this post: © Lynn White
Published with the permission of Lynn White