Poems by Diana Hendry
Diana Hendry is a writer and journalist who lives in Bristol. As well as poetry she writes short stories and novels for children. In 1991 she won the Whitbread Children’s Novel Award with Harvey Angell. Her poems have appeared widely in leading magazines, and a short sequence was published in Peterloo Preview 3 (1993). In 1976 she won 1st prize in the Stroud International Poetry Competition and in 1993 2nd prize in the Peterloo Open Poetry Competition.
Making Blue, a first full collection, opens with a group of poems set in Crete. There are also poems about pianos, Christmas, family, people real and imaginary, pigeons, and skylarks. Wit, humour, and depth of feeling are distinguishing features of this volume.
Passengers talk through a porthole
to a man in a glass tank.
He has red-rimmed eyes
and a rubber stamp.
A scant metal bridge, humped
like the one on the Willow Pattern plate, spans
two platforms and a view
of the lost igloo city of cars
painted by children.
There’s a photograph booth
(against loss of identity en route),
a news stand with The Plain Truth
available free, in a dark corner,
and a row of telephone cotes
to home in the lonely.
I evesdrop the news -
’He should be here at twelve minutes past four’
(Twelve minutes past, repeated,
as if repetition will bring him for sure) -
and wait for her
who is too young to be running over bridges
after love and trains -
this little go-between, this bridge-hopper
moonlighting between mother and father.
Small as the Chinaman on the plate
she waddles across the bridge with her case.
’Why didn’t you telephone me yesterday?’ I scold
waving love’s big stick.
Price £7.95 per copy post free (£5.30 post free to Associate Members)
Cover illustration: Alfred Wallis ‘Small Boat in Rough Sea’. Courtesy of Kettle’s Yard, University of Cambridge.
Publication: 1995 (64 pages laminated paperback)