Two poems by Paul Waring


Weekends he escaped to a world away
from ours, crazy-paved corner of garden,
dad-only den; shed air incense of solder,
sawn cedar or pine, heady, glue-thick,
cigarette smoke haze punctured by metal
or wood notes from orchestra of tools.
I see him, stick-thin, still hunched
over thoughts, long after day downs
last dregs of light, intent to crack code
of a repair, design some new gadget
or eavesdrop police channel chatter
on radio scanner. I wanted to be him:
drill with dental precision, perform surgery
on circuit boards – but could only watch,
fetch cuppas and brush up. Wanted to be
his hands, hold them steady in later years,
be his eyes that lost focus, now there
in my reflection; growing reminders of him,
another world that awaits.


Shedbound was first published at The High Window, Dec 2018



In My Father’s Shoes

Some days back from the dead –
             your face a mirror
             reminder of lost youth

Saturdays at five I hear you
             pffting again after
             three draws and one away

Fray Bentos pie, chips and peas for tea
             out dapper-suited with Mum
             to the club     still novice

to Brylcreem     feeling the pinch
             of collar and tie under
             sleeveless v-neck cable knit

Sundays I might find myself
             at the wheel of your Cortina
             stopped whoknowswhere

family seeing off fish and chips
             car reek of vinegar
             fused with fresh-lit Embassy

Dreams where I’m mistaken for you
             in North Wales     holiday faces
             reflected in gift shop windows

a split-second glimpse
             at my awkward gait –
             still unable to fill your shoes



Paul Waring’s poems have been published in print journals, themed anthologies and online magazines. He was awarded second place in the 2019 inaugural Yaffle Prize and commended in the 2019 Welshpool Poetry Competition. Quotidian, his debut pamphlet, was published in by Yaffle Press in July 2019.