Roundel, Tonbridge – Sara Davis, Avis Eaton and Danny Rivers


Sara Davis

Sara’s poems have appeared in South Poetry, New Contexts and Dreich as well as the Roundel anthology Links in the Chain and pamphlet Duncan’s Place. She was joint winner of the Sir Philip Sydney poetry prize 2020, runner up in the Roundel Poetry competition 2016.



This is the case with the casts from Pompeii:
the bent and huddled shapes that cowered in fear
as the ash fell, choking and singeing, trapping them.
So they lay for two thousand years, until
after the uncovering, casts were made
of their body shapes so we could see
their last tortured hours.

And here, behind glass in the hot sun
lie those ancient shapes, while in the corner
a small sparrow, hopping in for a curious moment
could find no escape for himself
so shares their tomb;
the same that baked him alive
keeps the dead safe.

Avis Eaton


Last Year: Tree Surgery

Suddenly it was cloudless
an eternal Sunday morning
no breakfast rush
no school rush
no rush hour.
These were times
of cancellations
of familiar faces
lost chances
static cranes
quiet playgrounds
ribboned benches.
At home,
after a commute
to another room
many stood by to zoom
as the old routines
were superseded.
Some were made safe,
some unshielded.

Your working life over
you took refuge
in your chair
facing the screen
with a view through the window
on a tree-lined street,
the only disturbance
the splintering sounds
and chainsaw buzz
of council business.

Those trees now stand
in a silent parade
of knotted fists.
On the roadside,
a bric-a-brac array
next to a skip
and passers-by browse
to take their pick
of a bowl, a trinket or photo frame.
Inside, not even
a shiver of light
behind the frosted glass
of the empty hall.
I see paperbacks subsiding
on the window sill;
the ghost of a mirror
marking the wall.

Danny Rivers

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