Three Poems by Phil Wood

Passing Out

Crab apples provided the ammunition:
your sniper aim, those bruises
– darting, chasing, finding our defining joy.

After, once we washed our hands, Gran
made us sit at the table.
She treated us to Welsh cakes heaped
on a cracked plate.

Our faces flushed russet red with warfare.
The cakes tasted the best –
almost burnt. The bake stone glistened.

Keys turn beneath these leaves.
I hear a flight of wings, an emptying of nests.
You in that uniform.
Me clapping as loud as I could.

Mr Williams Goes Running

And this is where he is
before the clocking-in
measures another day:
past the castle towers
and ghosted schools, that weight
of flightless hours; beyond
chapels of faded flowers
and lightless houses; around
the old cobbled harbour
of anchored names, rippling
the ink, a slap of chains –
silhouettes waving on
the neap. He hears their sigh
over the pebbled pages.
He tastes the salt of sails.


Granddad made a creamy porridge.
We liked the way it bubbled, plopped –
how the flames tickled round the pan.
He picked berries from allotments.
‘An imperial splendour,’ he said. ‘See how
they sag and leak.’
He stirred in a spoonful of honey.

Mum buys frozen. Leaves the berries
overnight in Tupperware to ‘breathe.’
Our microwave heats the porridge
in two minutes. It hums like bees.
Mum potted a blueberry bush,
gathered a spoonful of fruit. It died
like all things must.


Phil Wood works in a statistics office. He enjoys working with numbers and words. His writing can be found in various publications, including: The Open Mouse, Autumn Sky Daily, London Grip and Ink Sweat & Tears.

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