Poetry: Selections from Lynn White


I look into the river and see myself in reflection.
Colour fast but unstable, I move helplessly in its flow.
I am constantly being moved and changed,
but left stationary, moved but not moving on 
like the fishes and pebbles. 

Here I am, disturbed and abstracted,
surrounded by this rippling, babbling, watery world, 
which leaves me unclear who I am and,
more unclear about the solidity of my background
and what is happening around me.

I look into two worlds which are intermingling,
becoming inseparable before my gaze.
My own distorted image fades and breaks
with the images behind and beyond me
in the background of my life.

This river is becoming a metaphor for my own confusion.
For the displacement and fragmentation I feel inside. 
I am in danger of being broken up and washed away.
Unable to bring myself together, I remain in pieces,
undecided, lacking definition.

It is also a metaphor which stretches beyond my person, 
into the confusion and fragmentation beyond it’s edges,
into the reality outside, which is pressing in on me. 
It excludes any coming together, any resolution as
it embraces me in its ripples and sounds.

Such sweet, watery sounds, cooly relaxing my spirit.
Shutting out the incoherent babbling outside.
But still, even as I put my hands over my broken ears,
I know it will find a way inside and overwhelm me,
in any case.

First published in Selfhood Anthology, Transcendence Zero Press, December 2016

Grains of Time

Time is running out for me
And I sit here gazing into space
Watching each grain trickle away.
I can't catch them,
Can't stop them,
Can't slow them down
Or speed them up.
I can only live the moment

As it passes.

I Was Not Like Her

I was not like her,
the girl in the picture
looking out
No I was not like her
not me
not then.

I wore the gloves in summer 
that my mother bought me
the classic cut clothes 
that she had always 
wanted to wear
even allowed my hair to curl
as it wanted to
as she wanted it to.
No I was not like her,
the one in the picture
not then.

But when I broke free
made myself up
wore minis
or long skirts
controlled my curls
with an iron in hand
I think
I became her

First published in Visual Verse, January 2020

A Face In The Crowd

Once I could be seen,
was known by my face, 
my dress, my demeanour
recognisable in a crowd.
Now I have disappeared. 
Even if larger than life,
even if upside down
I would still be invisible.
A few wrinkles is all it took
to fade away
to become
than a face
in the crowd.

To become no one.

Performance Art

He’s the last man standing.

And whether comedian
or statesman
performance is all
for the last man standing.
Standing in the rubble of the city.
Standing on the bodies of the dead heroes,
those lions led by donkeys once again.
No more laughter,
no more tears,
the final curtain
came down on them.
Hollow victory
or glorious defeat
it’s all the same to them.

But the last man still stands,
the star of the show

First published in Topical Poetry, March 27 2022

Lynn White lives in north Wales. Her work is influenced by issues of social justice and events, places and people she has known or imagined. She is especially interested in exploring the boundaries of dream, fantasy and reality. She was shortlisted in the Theatre Cloud 'War Poetry for Today' competition and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, Best of the Net and a Rhysling Award.