Viki Holmes is a widely anthologised and prize-winning British poet and performer who began her writing career in Cardiff as part of the Happy Demon poetry collective. She has been living and writing in Hong Kong since 2005. Her poetry has appeared in literary magazines and anthologies in Wales, England, Hong Kong, Australia, Canada, Macao and Singapore. She was twice a finalist in the John Tripp Award for spoken Poetry (Wales), and was a runner-up in Hong Kong’s inaugural Poetry Slam. Her first collection, miss moon’s class, is published by Chameleon Press (Hong Kong) and she is co-editor of the Haven (Hong Kong) anthology of world women’s writing Not A Muse, which has launched at literary festivals in Ubud, Hong Kong, and at a variety of locations in the US and Canada.
We didn’t know what to drink, what was possible
when the light beckoned; kinked finger’s promise
of a coin flicked to the ocean’s wishing well:
spun from thumb to fore-finger,
tossed in the tumble of tide and night.
We hardly noticed it at first, huddled
in the depths of the evening, but
the doors hinged open, in an instant,
we were more than warmed, cuddled up
in an amber glow. We were soaked
in light: sub-mariners peeking
from a fringed amber bubble,
questing for treasure.
Our eyes swum; we found a place to sink into.
Shoals of wanderers ushered the closeness you’d written.
through the fronds, we plunged together,
a kiss predicted, promised. I replied:
fumbled clutch at a coin’s wish; latched
in the murmur of a mermaid moving seawards.
Silently but singing.
discoveries made collecting botanic samples
after Adam Aitken
on these cliffs we imagined we knew one another
looked back on how we’d nostalgised endlessly.
it was over before it started:
caravan’s land of grey and pink, pre-history,
pre-liminary. set adrift, we fashioned
joints from bamboo, made fires over
sand-hoppper cities, watched cliffs
burn. it was our last place, running
away from a hatful of acid and
not enough drugs. the sky loomed
and we came back here, parked
up in your red car, shivering
through the sun’s comedown.
somehow we made it, and in
the cradle of the night’s arms
we almost made it right
that time. yellow gorse
waiting for the scorch
fire razes some,
others need the
heat so they can burst.
a cormorant flashed
for a moment,
years below us.
us let go.