Poetry Drawer: Her Tied Hair Has A Loose Strand: Directions: Dirty Faces by Phil Wood

Her Tied Hair Has A Loose Strand

Vexed, tight-lipped, the look
enough. He grips a fork,
there’s work, no time to vent.
He wants the jacket off,
the dungarees aren’t clean,
it ain’t Sunday.

His daughter’s reproach
to look away. The house
needs tidying. Her dress,
brown as crops in drought,
pinned with a cameo brooch.
I wet my brush.


A laconic farmer, weather knapped,
nodded. His labour not mine.

The path wrinkled a balding hill,
knuckled rocks, no water clamour.

A lamb bleated, some bees bustled,
a breeze lisped, my mind pettifogging

like fish flicker light in ponds. I paused
my climb. The solitude proves

elusive, this path a pentimento
of others. It reassured in a way.

Dirty Faces

No verdant splendor on Constable Drive,
where kids kick balls against a graffiti hall
and tags proclaim that Banksy is their Dad.
The colours spray a leaf of Autumn’s shawl.

A virtuous Madonna will not grace
this Raphael. A cul-de-sac for hordes
of scallywags, all schooled with grown-up faces.
They paintball play on those with posher doors.

The traffic slows on Turner Road with sleeping
policemen. Scamps, tooled up with artist hearts,
will grime your car with dirty sponges, demanding
no coins. What they do they do for art.

Phil Wood was born in Wales. He studied English Literature at Aberystwyth University. He has worked in statistics, education, shipping, and a biscuit factory. He enjoys chess and learning German. His writing can be found in various places, including recently : Fragmented Voices, Gwyllion, Black Nore Review and a featured collaboration with photographer John Winder at Abergavenny Small Press.

You can find more of Phil’s work here on Ink Pantry.

Leave a Reply