I promised the occasional guest writer but fear that the poem by the late Sir John Betjeman (15/9/14) hardly counts, the great man being more ghost than guest. Peter Kenny, on the other hand, is a living, breathing writer in his prime: a good friend whose work I discovered several years before I met the man himself.
Peter’s a freelance writer and something of a Renaissance man whose portfolio includes poetry, children’s fiction, non-fiction, plays, music collaboration and performance verse.
He has a lifelong connection with the island of Guernsey and returns on a regular basis to recharge his creative batteries.
Peter’s currently engaged in a series of readings to promote his latest collection of poems entitled The Nightwork, recently published by The Telltale Press.
You can find Peter Kenny online at http://anothersun.blogspot.com and read below his poem on the German occupation of the island during World War Two.
ROOT AND BRANCH
There’s marching in the Guernsey lane,
my table’s bare, the pattern’s clear:
they will starve us after curfew;
they will break us at the table.
Refugee on the willow road,
I scrape aside my hedgerow scraps,
and escape to bomb-pocked safety
in a burning northern city
where my children stay with strangers
and – forgetting all their patois –
they turn in skies of fractured glaze
and trill their songs with English tongues.
Each night my doves return as crows
and I am harrowed root and branch
as they perch on empty places
and I – their mother – am accused.
For I tore them from their garden
and I knotted them with labels,
like a cherry shedding blossom
I shook them from my stupid limbs.