Timelines by Carolyn O’Connell


Beautiful tender poems, rich in many ways: in O’Connell’s unique linguistic turns, where ‘hymns’ can be ‘conducted / by spiraling arcs of Spitfires’; in detailed imagery and its expression, whether the serenity of a single flower petal or the incessant shifting in a cityscape; in its unflinching observation of the ties that bind. Change whistles through these flawlessly-musical lines, wherein ‘emotions / are gathered with the fruit to savour / through the cold’…
Timelines has a vital energy that I know will draw me back to it.
Anne Stewart,
poetry p f

Timelines fascinates me. Carolyn writes on many themes and her poems- ‘Traces of Time’, ‘Before the Wedding’ and ‘Diamonds’, made me recognise all the charms and traditions of marriage. I have to mention her poem- ‘Time Lag’. It tells us about a tradesman’s job of plastering; how wiping himself with ‘yesterday’s newspaper sculptured’, Carolyn knows the artistic approach of the waiting and the plasterer’s waiting effects of the drying.
I could go on, captivating poems to choose from, – ‘The Art of Waiting’, the skill learned through time. ‘Approaching Charing Cross’, the old and new train lines, posters and more.
Johanna Boal



Screened by odd shops lining the road
slotted between school and old church,
the tiny graveyard spread its mosaic:
paths, antique graves, and a quirky mausoleum.

A city oasis for childhood exploration;
classroom expeditions for wild flowers,
beetles, bugs in Natural History with Miss Condon

or to perfect our processional skills
in obedient lines along jagged paths
tailing a statue graphed by Sister Brendan.

Springing from the concrete playground
unwatched in this Eden we invented plays:
our props Hansom’s lichened stones,

Gribble’s borrowed grave tokens,
the iron grills latticing windows, doors
of the Bowden mausoleum – (a house?),

exploring the possibilities of unknown futures
unknown partners, unborn children
with the certainty of primary innocence.

As a woman I stood on the steps of
this Pugin church Newman dedicated –
studied by my past walled in the school
he built centred in fields of a lost village.

I’m ringed by my friends, family and maids
beside me a man who would be my future,
waiting to escort me to my tomorrow.


Carolyn O’Connell’s poems have been published in Envoi, Interpreters House, Brando’s Hat & Aireings, Poetry Society “Celebrating Adlestrop” Tribute Poems and other online poetry sites and anthologies. She is one of the poets listed on Poetrypf.com and has taken part in the poetry translation project whereby her poems have been translated and broadcast in Romanian.
Carolyn is a member of the Ormond Poetry Group and attends Rhythm & Muse and the Tea Box among other poetry venues. She has previously collaborated with Kensington & Chelsea Arts Service in promoting inclusive poetry projects and with the Library and Theatre Group in Richmond.
Her poems were featured in National Poetry Day booklets published by John Powls for the National Probation Service in 2001 and 2003.
Carolyn lives in Richmond – on -Thames.

Timeslines is available from Indigo Dreams Publishing for £9.50

3 thoughts on “Timelines by Carolyn O’Connell”

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