Wendy Holborow: Crossing the line

Wendy Holborow’s, poetry has been published internationally and placed in competitions. She gained a Master’s in Creative Writing at Swansea University, Wales. Recent collections include: An Italian Afternoon (Indigo Dreams 2017) a Poetry Book Society Pamphlet Choice, Janky Tuk Tuks   (The High Window Press 2018) and Shipwrecked, (2020). Her latest collection, Crossing the Line (2021), features her poetry and art. More information about Werndy and her work can be found here:  www.wendyholborow.org.uk

Wendy at Konista River - Copy 1            crossing

Containing sixty-two colour illustrations and photographs, Crossing the Line is an ekphrastic rendition of Holborow’s poetry, art and photography as well as a section of poetry based on famous artists’ work. Many of the poems have been previously published in respected poetry journals and/or placed in competitions. Some of the art work has been commended in exhibitions and used as art work in poetry magazines and on covers of poetry books.


Wendy Holborow: Poems and artwork from Crossing the Line

Crossing the Line_edited picCrossing the Line 2016


(The urge to look inside people’s windows)

I try not to become a Peeping Tom,
despise myself,
endeavour not to cross that line,
& despite light devouring the dark
there are houses where curtains
are not fully drawn
& the urge to watch people
in their evening lives is urgent,
their faces bathed in blue light
the view like a panoramic
cinema screen of action,
but sometimes, lightless panes
of glass reflect my face —
where I see
the inquisitive, lonely me

but if they knew they were being
would the screams & shouts
cease, would women
no longer be battered,


Bi-Polar TURBULENCE_edited_edited


In any regular seascape
if the sky is grey
the sea is also grey
if the sky is blue
the sea is blue
the horizon a recognisable
straight line.

In my painting, the sky is grey
with fast scudding white clouds
the sea a tempestuous blue
with frothing white waves
the horizon hazy
its colours blurred
as if it doesn’t know
which way to go

a seascape of extremes
swings in mood from grey mania
to the depths of the blues.


Words Roost framed 2_edited_edited_edited_edited


Words roost on his tongue,
settle down for the night
like embers of a dead fire in a grate
until morning’s riddled flare unleashes
the lash of his words, releasing
pent-up frustrations, the camber
of his tongue shaped to shout
like the rooster’s irksome crow.


Venice framed_edited_editedVenice 2018


Do not sail into the city on a dark marmorial
December morning with nothing visible
but teasing lights of sporadic Christmas trees
under graceful awnings, like baubles
adorning a woman’s neck.

As dawn flirts with night,
abandoned gondolas poise like
mute black swans, wings hunched against
icy tracery of exploded lace.
A disconsolate seagull hovers.

Yet in spring, mists veil the land
like a bride waiting to be revealed.
The rising orange sun displays
an escort of singing gulls.
Venice steals into view, a pearl
like those nestled around the bride’s throat.


Dusking through waves final picture_edited


She swims
dusking through waves

until sun & moon collide
feet trailing benthos
legs nudging sargassum
& creatures of the shallow-deep
that scrut around in the rufus hours of evening.

A porpoise reclines on the purple headland
(head inclines towards her, snoutling, scenting)
dives into the sea with purpose,
a seal flumps along the rocks

as she flails arms in the turbulent sea.


She sits on the beach,
waves larrup her feet,
waves approach / reproach the shore –
struggling to find a hold
on the slope of shingle.

A mongering of rumour from distant voices,
au(burn) hair s(moulders) in this rubified light

she ruminates on her troubles & the dolour of her life,
enters her own subconscious
like edging into a dark, disturbing cave
until the polished air of a hopeless dawn rubs the sky.


She swims
dawning through waves

until moon & sun collude
drifting through benthos & seaweed
& creatures of the shallow-deep
until the porpoise returns to the rock
until the seal has swum away
until tendrils of auburn are visible
haunting towards the hunted horizon.


She swims
drowning through waves

until life and death collide –
no longer does she tread the ocean floor
nor nudge creatures from the shallow-deep.

Waves larrup her lungs,
waves approach / reproach her
arms flail as she surrenders to the esurient sea.


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