Your poem "Sponged Out" in Bewildering Stories,  is simply beautiful!  Your use of color and light is absolutely fantastic!  Your transition to emotion, to pure passion, and then to something cold and dark is extremely well-done!  I really love those last two lines:  "cadaverous as the trees"!  Man, that's something special!  Really excellent work!

Andrew L. Hodges

Published by the Lucy Quieter Press, Wendy Holborow's tenth poetry collection, Shipwrecked, contains poems written over a number of years and many have been successful in competitions or previously published in respected poetry journals. Although problems encountered in today's broken society are a common theme and many poems address such dark subjects as unrequited love, war, poverty and death, the poems themselves are anything but depressing and readers are likely to readily identify with the poet's distinctive take on universal issues.


Inevitably, the older you get the more likely you are to encounter such grim realities as illness and death. This latest collection by Wendy Holborow may centre on such themes but there is also much tenderness and universal appeal as she recalls lost love, rich childhood experiences and less personal but equally thought-provoking issues. An impressively diverse range of styles and subject matter are to be found in this collection. It's a great read.

Lucia Crothall


I loved it. Super-apposite now, of course.
Like lots of things about the book actually - great to see an elegy for Nigel Jenkins, really admire 'Chercher le mot juste', like the Pessoa poems too, and enjoy many others. Some of those I liked most took off from juicy epigraphs - Ibsen, Brecht, etc. Also realised how much colour there is in your writing! Congratulations on another fine collection.

John Goodby






I see her through a cubist’s eye

chiselled planes & angles mingle in black & white

disentangled, broken up & rearranged

in geometric form.


I see her through an impressionist’s eye

rapid dabs of paint, dots, distorted,

sparkling patches of light & colour,



I see her through a miniaturist’s eye

minute, modelled like a doll held in the palm

of a hand, such infinite patience,  


I see her through a surrealist’s eye

confusion, un-recognisable in shape or form,

her reality disguised in the triptych mirror of art,



I see her through an icon painter’s eye

dark image illumed by silver & gold, a halo

above her head, so exquisite it is considered


I see her through a portrait painter’s eye

perfect in every detail as she gazes

out of the canvas of imperfection, her inner essence,


a slight smile, gentle contentment,

no smudges of a dark fanciful world apparent

in her reasoned demeanour as she sits,

hands apposed.





The Cha Ca Cha that was Danced in the Early Hours of 24th March 1961.  A Painting by David Hockney.


I didn’t know you back in ‘61


things would have been different –

childhood sweethearts –

two red he(art)s instead of the br(own) upon black


black for you who cheated,

brown for me the conspirator

conscripted to       y(our) love


your name worn on my sleeve

not on my upper thigh

                        as we dance – not the cha cha cha,

          but ensconced

in each other’s arms

gentle together

                                 your voice wrapped around me


aware of the warped jealousy

of other women wanting      you

                                                  only have e(yes) for me

I love every mo(ve)ment

quavers dance across my neck



The trees are cadaverous in the early morning,

sponged out of the vibrant composition,

until the emergence of a bright nerve of colour –

not the sweeping trails of deep pink bougainvillea

climbing the walls of apartment blocks, nor the violent

blue of jacaranda near the gardens of Mon Repos –

but the vivid memory of when she danced under the cupola

with its glass dome shivering splinters of light

                                                            across the floor

picking out colours in the gypsy skirt

she’d worn to impress him      when infatuated.


She must take care her imaginary conversations

                                                                    don’t escape

when he’s around


so she goes to where the cypress trees are black

& stripe the landscape like brush strokes on a heavy,

dark & disturbing oil painting, devoid of colour,

where her bitter orgasm empties icicles

                                onto the brittle needles

& she is sponged out of all vibrant compositions

she has become as cadaverous as the trees.

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