Between the Acts: Emily Bilman

Three poems by Emily Bilman

feeling corny by @libby_ol

The Corn-Cradle

Steered by the swallows, we
plant our tents on the land,
the cradle of corn, olive, sage,
fig and barley. In the wild thorn and
thistle fields, I tend the goats, as they bolt
against the shrubs, ejecting stones
as they slip downhill, an indigo cloak
screening my skin from the arid swirling dust.
Along sombre shades of path,
darkness slowly descends upon
the sand-fields. A yellow-eyed leopard
stalks the night, abruptly leaping
into the artery of its nuptial prey.
The star-designed sky-roof shields me.


A River of Light

De Jonge’s Archeology of Personhood, 3

A luminescent glass-cathedral,
Bright fuchsia, bright blue, bright purple,
Bright aquamarine where choir-voices
Celebrate a stained glass polyphony,
The river’s primeval song, when
All was peace and light and beauty,
When the sun’s colours begot Time,
When the first life was born with the warmth
Of primal movement, when the primal
Geometry of the first ochre curve and
The parallel elongation of the first form,
Bore the warm breasts of our brown world.



Piles and piles
of tablets and pills veined
like tawny open fox-
gloves in a stub field –
stacks of paper-clips
and staples like barley-
sheaths smoothing, stirring,
waking the wind – pencils
and pens, perennial like the velvet-
stalked immortelles – a mound
of cardigans, shirts, sweaters,
scarves, dresses, trousers
shedding their colours
like pomegranates broken
on the maquis in the late fall
as I, scrupulously sort
them out, recycle them
as I, vertiginously, circum-
scribe them all into
gray debris bags
like the yellow and crimson-
streaked kestrel, string
by lithe string, meticulously,
spear-gutting the morning song-
thrush, claw-clutched, death-
stiffened on my garden-grass.



Emily Bilman is London’s Poetry Society Stanza representative and hosts poetry meetings in her home in Geneva.  After having earned her PhD from East Anglia University, UK, La rivière de soi, was published by Slatkine, Geneva. Other poems are published in The London Magazine, Hunger Mountain, Offshoots VII & XII, Orbis, Poetry Salzburg Review, Iodine Poetry Journal, The San Diego Annual 2014 in America and The Inspired Heart Vols. I 2 & 3, and Ygdrasil in Canada. Two academic books, The Psychodynamics of Poetry and Modern Ekphrasis, were published in 2010 and 2013. A Woman By A Well was published in 2014 by Melinda Cochrane International, Québec. 

Author: Libby O'Loghlin

Novelist, social entrepreneur, nutrition and narrative coach. Creative Director of The Woolf Quarterly; Co-Founder of WriteCon and The Powerhouse Zurich. Nature is my jam.

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