Enduring Solitude

Not one word had passed my lips since dawn broke.

I roamed that winter park of beasts alone,

past empty pens, while through a stand of pines

swept a whispering wind, sharp as broken bone.


Between the stark, sleet-wet columns, I glimpsed

bison, like some far archipelago,

their moist eyes dully leaking out their lives.

The herd not heeding if I stay or go.


At dusk, I sat inside a vaulted café

of leather, candles, linen and champagne,

and other singles, caught in mirrors, mused

their fate. Should I go, or, perhaps remain?

Not a word, not one utterance since dawn,

then a waitress asked me: why so forlorn?


Published in Writers’ Forum, competition runner-up, page. 58, Select Publisher Services Ltd., Issue 155, 2014, ISSN 1467-2529,


A Seamstress Considers her Options

A Seamstress Considers her Options was published in London Grip at , March 2020, at: .


Requiem for a Kayaker

EarlyWorks Press – Requiem for a Kayaker


Shopping on the right

A passer-by looked like an old flame.

But no! Doppelganger-like, she’s not.

Similar looks, shrunk to a small frame.

I look, but not follow.


No one helps me, struggling in strange towns.

Boxy shops crammed just like a jigsaw –

jumbled vowels announcing their markdowns.

I read, but not follow.


Look up to see filigree trees sway,

tangling thoughts of trees from my homeland.

Look out! A car! Whizzing the wrong way.

Missing me somehow.


Enter a shop fighting reluctance:

chewing grammar; spitting the syntax;

out come the words triggering silence.

He stares, and not follows.


Shopping on the Right has been previously published The Cannon’s Mouth Quarterly, Cannon Poets, Issue 70, December 2018, ISSN 1745-663003.


“Dissolution”  –  On a Riverside Mural

Liles_20170312 Dissolution Mural_Adj

“Dissolution” poem, Copyright Clifford Liles, 2018. Mural Artwork: Artist Colette Baumback and ‘Fresh Start Calligraphy’ group from Lower Hardes, with help from local residents, students, ‘ Friends of Westgate Parks’ and members of the Canterbury Umbrella Centre. Maintained by the ‘Friends of Westgate Parks’ as part of the ‘Parks for People’ Heritage Lottery Project 2013 – 2018 on a Kent Country Council highways management structure. Image post-production: Sanjay Kalideen.

All poems copyright 2020 Clifford Liles.