Karen Dennison’s shed



The path edged past the apple tree, swing,
runner bean teepees, thorny blackberries –
to the shed, a crooked shipwreck,
its door over-sized, stiff.

Inside, a jumble of danger: rusted nails,
saws and shears, face-height webs,
black crumpled spiders poised
to unfold from the dead.

At the back, a wheel with a worn-out tread,
shabby mattress, musty fold-up chair,
padlocked metal box that rattled
and a plastic baby doll with one eye open.

Impossible that the shed still stands
but I think of it there shifting with time,
battered by rain and wind, a child tugging
at its splintered door, peering inside.

Karen’s poems have been published in South, Orbis, The New Writer, Ink Sweat and Tears, South Bank Poetry, Artemis (poem commended in Second Light poetry competition 2013 and judged by Moniza Alvi), What the Dickens? Magazine, The Interpreter’s House and in four anthologies: poetrywivenhoe 2011, Heart Shoots, From the City to the Saltings and so too have the doves gone. Karen won the Indigo Dreams Collection Competition in 2011 and her first collection Counting Rain was published in February 2012. Karen is editor and publisher of the pamphlet Book of Sand.

5 thoughts on “Karen Dennison’s shed”

  1. I agree – Fantastic! Karen has the eye of a painter but also the eye of a film-maker. She involves all the senses. The poem made me shiver. Perfect balance of what she tells us and what she doesn’t. Love that bit about the undead spider!! Thanks for this wonderful series, Abi.

  2. I love the sense of shifting time in this poem – how the shed holds the sense of having been a hiding place, a forbidden place – smelling of danger, curiosity, holding on to childhood and the changing years. Thanks for giving us your shed – another one I would like to pull at the door of too. It evokes for me the power of attachment, the lasting sense of belonging, the recapturing of memories, and most importantly even when things seem to be crumbling around us we hold on to that something that helps us know who we are. Thank you.

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