Fall/Winter 2015-2016

Penelope Shuttle


Few things worse
than being taken ill on Hounslow Heath
as the runaway Bishop learned
and many a humbler soul
so keep the straight and narrow
don’t stray from Hounslow’s long unlovely street
respect its Grove Road School ethos
(though few of the pupils
know their alphabet)
don’t footpad
the shadowy ways by the Crane
or ride the dark
of wildtrack and brake
where a bullet can find you –
heart or brain
anywhere anywhen –
between  Hounslow and Heston
Our town’s one dull street
won’t get you took ill
with the plaguey gunshot
fatal and fast – why run the risk?

The nuns who worked the Syon Cope
have all gone home to Lisbon –
that’s a safe distance from the Heath!
If Bishop Twysden
Of Raphoe
had kept such faith
he’d be living in his Donegal living
to this day
from Heath  (unpublished)

Penelope Shuttle lives in Cornwall, UK. Summer 2016 sees the publication of HEATH, a collection co-written with John Greening (Nine Arches Press). Bloodaxe Books will publish her twelfth collection, WILL YOU WALK A LITTLE FASTER, on her seventieth birthday, in May 2017. She is a poetry tutor and mentor with a number of organisations.



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