Stephen Boyce

Stephen Boyce: Featured Poet


I brought home wild marjoram,
scabious and a pink parsley
to catch your eye in the little kitchen,
leaving my hurt pride by the roadside.
After all our talk I’d wanted to bring
butterflies to stir the air in the bedroom:
flitting blues, graylings, gatekeepers
with watchful eyes, and a jersey tiger
moth, its scarlet flash so startling.
But my hands were too slow in the heat
of the afternoon and, besides, in time
one of us would break the silence,
though the butterflies – soundless
and unexpected – go on
slipping through our fingers forever.

Published in Desire Lines Arrowhead Press 2010


Stephen Boyce lives in Winchester. His poetry has been published widely in magazines including Staple, The Interpreter’s House, Frogmore Papers, Smiths Knoll, Tears in the Fence, Links, the Southern Daily Echo, Moving Stories (website), Acumen, and in the anthology Visible Breath (Indigo Dreams). He has been a prizewinner in the Kent & Sussex, Leicester, Ledbury, Ware Poets and Plough Prize competitions. Stephen has published pamphlets including In the Northland -– poems after the Group of Seven and Tom Thomson, and his full length collection Desire Lines was published by Arrowhead Press in 2010. For further information visit:

6 thoughts on “Stephen Boyce: Featured Poet”

  1. Yes, a lovely poem. Love the idea of what the speaker hoped the butterflies might do, “After all our talk I’d wanted to bring/ butterflies to stir the air in the bedroom:”. Love how you handle the the sound and the no sound. Thanks.

  2. This is a beautiful poem which really resonates with me. For some reason it makes me want to whisper. There is a fragility about it and I look forward to finding and reading more of your work. Thanks for a great read.

  3. Delicious images in a very poignant poem, evoking a delicate balance between time and nature. And a reminder that it’s save our butterflies week!

  4. Tender and delicate – a little winter in the summer – images and thoughts to pin, label and keep. Great poem!

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