top of page

"Summer Bonfire" and "A Space I Cannot Fill" by Helen Openshaw

Summer Bonfire

The smell of wood smoke pops the air,

Engulfing the late summer evening in bursts.

I watch the sparks of fire soaring, darting;

Imagine them along the paths we trod,

Past the trees we climbed, hovering at the gate

We shut tight, and finally stamped out by the

Riverside reeds where we played.

Now the halo of the fire grows brighter,

And only then does the evening draw the shutters on the day.

A Space I Cannot Fill

The empty chair,

The hour on Sunday when I’d phone,

The question I want to ask,

The bare coat peg,

The distant hum instead of the ticking clock,

The bookmark loose on the table,

The closed glasses case,

This space I cannot fill.

Unsure how to greet it, I walk around it,

I sulk, then rage until I allow the space to frame me,

Shifting and settling like your old cardigan

That even now still keeps me warm.

Helen Openshaw is a Drama and English teacher, from Cumbria. She enjoys writing poetry and plays and inspiring her students to write. Helen has had a short monologue commissioned by Knock and Nash productions. Recently published and upcoming poetry work in Secret Chords by Folklore publishing, Green Ink Poetry magazine, Words and Whispers magazine, The Madrigal, Fragmented Voices, Loft Books and The Dirigible Balloon magazine.


bottom of page