Liquorice Allsorts. Artwork by Patrick Hughes (UK) 1960
If flowers, fruit and jugs of wine,
why not a natures mortes of sweets,
laid out dismembered with eyes staring.
I can still taste them, coconut, vanilla
and more than a hint of exotic darkness.
Sometimes I would peel away the soft icing
with sticky fingers lovingly licked,
though never sure of the pebble dashed
round ones, best rolled between teeth
and a curling of tongue.
On sad troubled days, when parents fought
or pets died, Bertie B. was our childhood
comfort; a sweet reminder that come
what may, there was still a life;
and one of many sorts.
Doug Sandle is a writer, a psychologist and a former university academic. A Manxman, he came to study in Leeds in 1960, founding and editing several arts and poetry publications. His then contribution to Leeds Poetry is acknowledged in the Poetry Archive website of Leeds University’s Poetry Collection. He has been published intermittently over the years, including once sharing a poetry page with Harold Pinter. Recently his poetry has appeared in The New European, The Ekphrastic Review and the anthology The View from Olympia, poems on Olympic sports. He also writes plays and short stories.
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