Antonia Rolls

Artist Extraordinaire

A Graceful Death Poetry

There is no space here for anyone else

There is no space here for anyone else,

the strip light, the white walls,

footsteps in the corridor outside,

trolleys, teacups, ticking clocks


only the two of them exist.

Within their sanctuary

breath slows

unravelling the final threads,

a hand slips from the sheet,

and she is there alone

with legs so numb

she cannot stand, but sits

her breath the only sound.

Jenna Plewes


You chose silence, did not speak of the cells that circled your body

invading organs as an army might take over a city.

You chose silence as if you knew that time was short

and its minutes too easily drowned by tears.

You chose silence, to avoid the painful subjects that might rise

like bile, till all memories taste of its bitterness.

You chose silence in this wasteland so that you could also choose

which of its stones to lift and look at, hold in your mouth.

You chose silence to shield your children from pain,

as if that cup were not already full, and running over.

You chose silence, and all the bright leaves of conversation

that blew across our speech withered, and fell unsaid.

Words disappeared before the wide maw of your

approaching death, waiting for the next, last, silence.

Penelope Hewlett


I saw you, standing in May sunshine,

head bowed in contemplation of

the silent lawnmower at your feet,

breathing the slight puffs of an old man

whose strength has run like sand into the soil,

hands on hips over a cloud-grey sweater.

Children’s voices came from the garden

where they were playing on the grass

without a care. And the tarmac ran away

from your feet into the shadows underneath the wall.


I see you still, captured in that moment

when I stood still, when I heard the shadows

speak with heavy certainty:

you won’t be here in a few month’s time.

Remember this, the sun, the stance,

in its finality. You won’t be here again

beneath the blue sky, hearing the children

squabble in the garden, breathing

the light air.

Penny Hewlett

Drinking of you

They check on me now and again;

with their clinking spoons.

Drips of tea through straws.

It’s like love

With one pot between me,

the darkness out there

Stirred with one slow hand,

like earth.

Samantha Hut

Here we are

So here we are

just for a minute. Together.

The hospice smells of cleaning stuff

and your skin is soft.

I kissed your cheek and you smiled

and I hold your hot fisherman’s hand

in my practical artist’s hand.

We pause for a moment.

The air? I don’t remember the air.

Let us take him now, said the nurses.

Yes, I said, but what I meant was


I know how bad I felt there.

I feel so sorry for the couple in the painting.

Another tired, ill man came in just now in his wheelchair.

I must take him away from her and lie him down.

He isn’t well and is so tired. So very tired.

Antonia Rolls

Missing You

I miss the chats, my cup of tea

I miss my home, someone there for me

I can’t imagine life without you

You were always there, my rock

My guide, my moral ground

I fell apart, in shock when you left

But something’s changed, that I can’t quite grasp

I feel free to explore who I am

Sitting here writing a poem

You’d never have understood

I’m on a spiritual journey

No priests or vicars, no guilt

New ways of being

New realms to explore

To at last, be free to do it my way

You said work hard, know your place

Look after your man

You were right for you, but wrong for me

I miss you, but I am now free to be me

O Ye O Ye O Ye Here comes the Queen

Linda Jacobs