Karen Izod – Two poems


after ‘The Execution of Lady Jane Grey’ Paul Delaroche 1883.

We were threading beads, do you remember?
It was a dark day, the nursery never a homely room,
and a shaft of light broke through the window
catching at the sheen on your dress.

Radiant you were. I thought we were in the Presence,
in the scatterings of angels leading Jacob up his staircase.
And I saw you as some heavenly bride, ecstatic.
I shocked myself with the thought.

Come let’s play blind man’s buff, I said, turning you
in my arms, covering your eyes, turning you again.
And your necklace spilled. Garnets fell like tiny stabs
from your neck, and I felt the light backing away,

being eclipsed by some other thing.



Urbane, charming,
he pads at the edges
of the campo, keeps
to the shadows, watches
the hen and her chicks
strutting their stuff,
vulnerable in the belief
that a brood protects.
which one, he eyes
will he pick off tonight?



Karen lives in Guildford, Surrey, close to the North Downs. She works as an independent consultant to organisational and cultural change, and has published a number of academic and practitioner papers and books in her field. Currently she is a D.Phil candidate at the University of the West of England, where she is a visiting research fellow. Karen’s poetry has appeared in Agenda, Attachment, New Welsh Review’s video showcase, and at karnacology.com and she regularly performs in local spoken word events. Karen is a lover of bird-life and wild places, and additionally writes and runs workshops on attachment to land and city scapes. She was long-listed in the New Welsh Review’s nature writing competition – People, Place and Planet 2015.

8 thoughts on “Karen Izod – Two poems”

  1. I like ‘Spillage’. Is Karen . . . Karen Dennison? I can’t see a second name but I may be looking right through it.

  2. Your Fox reminds me most of Saturday evening dancing in one of the Blackpool post-WWII ballrooms, The Tower or The Empress in The Winter Gardens – there were always gaggles of giggling girls on holiday being surveyed by local Lotharios.
    terrific poems, Karen – thanks.

      1. Spillage reminded me of Carol Ann Duffy’s Warming Her Pearls, and captures wonderfully the occasional playfulness of Mistress and Servant where the Servant’s premonition of execution and death proves to be only too accurate – Lady Jane Grey is an interesting character and history is full of such challenges to “being the rightful heir” – how differently our country would surely have turned out had her claim to the throne been honoured.

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