Post-weekend Poetry 048: A Rainy Afternoon in London by Rose Mary Boehm

Welcome to Post-weekend Poetry and the forty-eighth poem in this series. This week’s piece is by literary author, poet and interviewee Rose Mary Boehm.

A Rainy Afternoon in London

Heavy water runs down the flanks of
the horses on the merry-go-round.
The aquarium is warm and dark.
-Grandma, come. Fish.

The butterfly house
is rainforest hot. And humid.
Soft wings burr past my face.
A huge blue morpho parks on the baby’s
sleeve. Shivers.  She purses her lips
in concentration and speaks with it
eye to eye.

The notice says that the big animals
are in a safari park somewhere
in Somerset. This zoo is now too small
for twenty-first century consciences.

Some dromedaries, looking uncared-for
and unutterably bored, hang out
in the old elephant house.
The moat is wide
and deep.

There are some sheep in the baby zoo. And rabbits.
-Grandma, wassthat?
They eat them in Peru.

Thank you, Rose.

A German-born UK national, Rose Mary Boehm now lives with her second husband in Lima, Peru. Only after 20 years immersed in the English language did she attempt to write in her new ‘mother’ tongue.

She travelled extensively, made a career in advertising, worked as a copywriter, founded her own business(es), married her first husband and had two children, had a one-woman show of her drawings in London, UK, then moved to Madrid, Spain, where she finally retired from the corporate world, moved to Peru, and now dedicates her life to writing.

Her two novels, COMING UP FOR AIR and THE TELLING, have been published in the UK in 2010 and 2011 respectively, as well as her first collection of poetry, TANGENTS.  She won a few prizes for poetry and photography, and three of her latest poems will appear in US poetry reviews in end-of year and Spring editions. You can find out more about her from her blog


If you’d like to submit your poem (40 lines max) for consideration for Post-weekend Poetry take a look here.

The blog interviews will return as normal tomorrow with non-fiction author Joy Vassal – the five hundred and fifty-seventh of my blog interviews with novelists, poets, short story authors, bloggers, biographers, agents, publishers and more. A list of interviewees (blogged and scheduled) can be found here. If you like what you read, please do go and investigate further. And I enjoy hearing from readers of my blog; do either leave a comment on the relevant interview (the interviewees love to hear from you too!) and / or email me.

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Unfortunately, as I post an interview a day (amongst other things) I can’t review books but I have a feature called ‘Short Story Saturdays’ where I review stories of up to 2,500 words. Alternatively if you have a short story or self-contained novel extract / short chapter (ideally up to 1000 words) that you’d like critiqued and don’t mind me reading it / talking about and critiquing it (I send you the transcription afterwards so you can use the comments or ignore them) 🙂 on my ‘Bailey’s Writing Tips’ podcast, then do email me. They are fortnightly episodes, usually released on Sundays, interweaving the recordings between the red pen sessions with the hints & tips episodes. I am now also looking for flash fiction (<1000 words) for Flash Fiction Fridays and poetry for Post-weekend Poetry.

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