The War Photographer’s Son


girl 2

The War Photographer’s Son

The moon’s a trigger
his torso mapped with scars
perimeters, and the stars
are for hunting by
in strange scimitar regions
his camera flies
while my mother curls
me on her lap
and cries

there is always Reuters
to rely on and the papers
we have the old shrapnel
shards from netted stitches
trophies of an alien zone
maybe a return
camouflaged with laurels
my mother drops
the phone

the moon’s a shutter
its eye upon the dying boy
I feel for him/feel nothing
there is a part of me
that stalks the moonlit jungle
in big dusty boots
a nightmare up and running
my father
loads the film and

Veronica Aldous all rights reserved 1984

This is an old poem of mine , published many years ago.


The old garden


The old garden. Soon to be lost. I have loved you for many a year. This land was once orchards as it is on the side of a valley. There are apple tree ghosts and those of a thousand thousand birds. There are yew trees and others. Slow worms, harvest mice and once there were bats, all inhabited its wide embrace. I have seen many wonders by slow patient gazing. Redwings drunk on rotting apples, tiny shifts of energy amongst small plants. Miniature strawberries and furry leafed herbs to melt into and observe. A nest of baby foxes with blue eyes, a hedgehog with a cough who had to be rescued. A blackcap in the yews, a family of tiny goldcrests amongst bright sunlit berries. A yew tree is like a Christmas tree when it snows and the sun catches the birds and the berries. In the summer, my Mother’s gift of pink old roses would perfume the air. Madame Isaac Pereire and Gertrude Jekyll. Names that are remembered, names that are forgot. I used your leaves to print and dye silk so I have you always in my sewing box scenting the tapestry of my life. By one who loved an old garden and had her heart broken. © Veronica Aldous 2019


garden spirit 1.jpg


The thrush is missing, some days
I heard him tapping the snails on the anvil stone
By the path, a sacred road, made so by my regard
Of the bird and his rhythms, some days
I could smell the white flow of perfume
From the locust tree, manna falling from pendulous mouths
Some days, the low sun caused its limbs to glow red
One day it was strangled by ivy and its body gone
Some days my body was perching in my mind
Some days my mind entered the hedge holes of my body
Some days, all I ever did was look out of the window
Never moving, in thrall to my sentience
Each of the strawberries were my babies
I birthed them slowly over many years
One day they were all gone, as if they had never been
It matters little, if a cold wind shoots down the ginnel
Every fractal of the wren’s call is notated

I have these very small particles
Worn synapses of steps and alleys and paths
A garden full of old worn out thoughts
Muddy boots by a door, a rotted presence
Lilies ghosting out of cracked terracotta
A slow worm shimmering on the hot stone
Staining silence with his tiny shooting tongue
A stone, a star, a wren.

It is as if this never happened
Is happening anyway.

Veronica Aldous  2019 all rights reserved

Lonely Hunter



Lonely Hunter

The lawnmower lasted longer than his wife

Pushing it out over the day’s-eyes

Reaping a harvest of wet chlorophyllic comfort

On a skin rumpled by moles

A house he had owned

Only as far as the foundations

Words cannot be pushed under

They keep erupting from the dragnet

Coming up from his brain canal

The candy grabber in the penny arcade

Limply shaking a loose skinned puppet

Winning, only to lose it again.


Veronica Aldous all rights reserved 2017

Photograph  ‘ Weald Faun’ Veronica Aldous copyright 2017

Small Fairground


Small Fairground

Their voices peal a gamelan of tones
Perhaps there is a paddling pool
Wriggling toe-fish in rubbery water
A too cold breeze…

I only have these little sounds to play with
A rockpool of reminders
Where each sense hunts
And stings another.


Veronica Aldous

All rights reserved 2017


Photograph Veronica Aldous. – Cistus Rock Rose



Your hair that I hid in
A membrane of silence
Vibrating the fuzz
On a moth
O kingsman
Can I speak to you?
By all that is thin, shaded, worn
Ancient and frayed
I will search the gold air
Unwinding the thread
Until I say the wrong thing
Why do you not stop?
At the next corner
He hesitates and disappears.

Veronica Aldous 2017 all rights reserved
Photograph ‘Orb’ by Veronica Aldous

Full Fathom


Full Fathom

I am not one of many; I am one who knew
The volutes of your labyrinth
A sliding hand on the inner skin
The wall where pain had snagged
And wrought its patterns now overlaid
With sorrow’s bark; some sores still wept
With my hand which heeded pits and scabs
And made them call, O I said
O you replied
You whispered of his scarlet sash
and I said;
Corals are living bones.

Veronica Aldous 2017 All Rights Reserved