Rose-tinted: Poetry by Imogen Berry-Henshaw




Lip stick, the shade of her blood
as it spilled
cream into coffee into the tube.
Her thoughts to be talked about.
She drew tears


In a cherry dress
smashed her chest.
Her scares to be talked about.

Goose down pillows
Coffee floods of mascara on white
Left to be talked about.
She sliced her soul


Rose tinted sunglasses
over bloodshot eyes
removed to be talked about.

Warm crimson liquid scents:
Rust and lavender, salt –
her close to be talked about.




A Havisham’s Sonnet

Petals snowed, the street stayed still
And I stayed stiller behind my window sill.
I thought of you, or rather me
The me who you would want me to be.

I’m afraid of shadows, take thrills in fights.
Laugh, conquer chaos, cry myself to sleep at night.
I wanted to change, be fuller and less,
Be who you would think was best.

I’m sorry I’m faded not something bright,
I’m sorry for a moment you thought I was light.
Locked in my brain, while I filter through yours,
Your essence, my value, my sadness your cause.

The petals settle; and so will you –
While I’ll remain here, borrowed and blue.




Lark Hill

Boxed millstone grit cobbles catch heels.
Hears Chant Der Sirenes played through
Willow fiddle, while heated ivory pipes of smoke
and smog through onion chimneys patter out
Signs for funerals to order –
A mother cries for her children yet to die
And orders a black motor.

Twenty one rings of English oak sliced, set in place –
Matthew, John, James – Printed above to last. Below
Punch and Judy wait to play.

Lark Hill, even the silver Columba Livia
She flies no higher than those signs.




An Impressionist’s Time

Shush. Sleep still is silence, so shush.
White and reaching laid open on a nest of green –
Monet, Manet, Monet – perhaps Time?
We live a second behind ourselves.
The light of last minute falls on their wet paint.
Time breaks the good man’s watch.
Monet, Manet, Monet – perhaps Shifts?
Twelve winds blowing, every second their disarray,
The dark falls anew blocking out yesterday.
Monet, Manet, Monet – Perhaps Paint?
Shush. Sleep still is silence, shush.
Today’s corn is tomorrow’s bread,
Its field forgotten less caught by them.
Monet, Manet, Monet – perhaps Keeps?
Imprisonment of then caught in the now.
No gods are recognised when lost to the away.
Shush, sleep still is shush.
Monet, Manet, Monet – Perhaps Longer?
Shush, sleep still shush.
Our earth eroded clear by her sombre shifting seas,
A dam in China, now, alters her speed.

Time Shifts, Paint Keeps longer.
Hope is the opium of the people
Shush, sleep shush.
Perhaps the lie?
Capture it now or it shall not dry.




Mellow, all breath and silence too,
I want to reach, entwine with you.
Yet I stay, glance away
A picture of blithe serenity.
Numbly I ache, as fear will take
away possibilities for safety’s sake.
Once more to you I shall stare
Longer than I should ever dare.
I’ll press my lips into my reaching palm
and scream there so all heard is calm.
I’ll mourn you when I tell you to go,
all of my feelings you’ll never know.
I am the angel with broken wings,
The siren who dares not sing.
With guarded grief I know today,
I will each time turn love away.



Words – Imogen Berry-Henshaw / Images – Danielle Jade Oldham