Sat 19 September 2020
In the Media
Digital Reading
Young Writers in the News
Books & Reading
Goings On
You are here: Home > Young Writers' Hub > Blog > Poetry: My Grandmother’s Hairdresser, The Wood Run, Icarus, Terpsichore
Poetry: My Grandmother’s Hairdresser, The Wood Run, Icarus, Terpsichore
Four Poems from Cara Brennan

My Grandmother’s Hairdresser

The concaves of the ceiling are dog-eared
in this old portrait, where the edges
fold like fallen petals.
I picture you, watching her
sat deep in the leather chair;
the length of her greyscale wisps,
the flecks of her romantic

The image is crackled, a black and white tint
projects her red lips a darkened grey.
The perforation of my sensibility
nears when I hear you,
my grandmother’s hairdresser say; “I can see drops of your fate, littered like curled

Whilst combing her tresses, once jet black
her hairline strikes bumps on your skin.
My Grandmother’s definite arrow points to
a harsh prerequisite.
Her widow’s peak.

The Wood Run

When camping we built large fires each night
to warn off the chill. We would go, after
the beach to ‘bluebell wood’ to collect
tinder. We would edge past nettles and rabbits
with myxomatosis, shaking with life as relatively
small as myself.

I saw a family of deer once, coy
amongst the wet trees.
My father told me not to get
distracted, to drag
twigs (for they were all I could carry)
up the domino steps. Over the stile. Through the field
of untouched crops to where the tents
were pitched, diluting the grass to yellow
beneath them.


Icarus shivers in the wings.
A catwalk virgin his ‘unusual’ features
have set him in good stead, for strutting
between rows of the rich and well dressed.

He’s wearing a costume fashioned
from large feathers, in the beam the black sheen
shines gold.

His palms are wet, they slick
back his floppy hair and his body
heat rises
from pressure and the glow.

His time is up, stepping forward to walk
the fashion plank; overhead lights begin
to melt the glue which
holds the feathers to his back. He struts on
regardless, as each teardrop of flight falls
to the white floor.

Left to fend, without any safety net,
quivering below the stars.


Terpsichore is the muse of dance

I recall the scene at the top of the stairs,
where the walls of the club
are marked with the creative exploits
of young artists. A waterhole;
each buffalo directing their hungered stare to the lens,

where Zebras slink
in monochrome, defiant to their fate.

This bright expanse of wall in all
its substantial evolution,
makes a stark contrast
to the scene beyond
the swing doors. I see Terpsichore dancing
with him, recovering
previous perceptions and interlocking limbs.

The deep notes turn their skin to bubble wrap,
as they twist their
peach parts in dark spaces.
The pace quickens
as their path meets
with the spectre of old steps,
making exquisite jewellery in beads of sweat.
A dull thud of bass
mimics defined heartbeats
and in a saturated haze
she suggests he stays the night.
Puckers of rouge fester
between them; they sway
towards the sweltering dusk.

Cara Brennan is a poet based in Newcastle. Her debut collection will be published next year by Valley Press.