Peter Holliday was born in Hereford and has lived on the Welsh Borders for more than 40 years. His poems have been published in three ‘Border Poets’ anthologies; in The Poetry of Shropshire (Offas Press 2013) and Shropshire Butterflies(Fair Acre Press 2011). In 2014 his narrative poem Saint Edfrith’s Journey was published by Leominster Team Ministry. Peter was Leominster Librarian for more than 20 years and lectures widely on various aspects of local history.
CIVIL WAR INCIDENT : Pembridge 164-
November evening. Darkness coming down.
Sleet slipping over the hills.
I don’t know where we are or why we’re here.
A straggle of hovels, dumb as the dead.
“Ten cretins crammed in the tower.” Squit grins.
“Shitting themselves no doubt.”
“We know you’re in there!” roars Gez.
“And we’ll smoke you out!”
Daw cackles in his usual way.
“Let’s shoot the door to hear them scream.”
We rip the last fruit from the trees,
breaking the branches as we tramp through.
Stubb sets light to a thatch
and kicks over a can. Nab smacks my face.
“Get used to it!” he snorts.
The timbers crack and spit and fall.
Watching the dizzy world burn red
I stand and shiver in the heat.