Bilman E – Emily Bilman

Rebellion With An Actor and A Poet
Kingfish-refugees gathered
on the beach, around bonfires
waiting to end their life-risk on land.
I met an unknown actor by the river,
reciting Blake’s “Songs of Innocence
and Experience”. He had returned
from the river’s congested mouth
in turmoil like the sacrificial sea.
The migrants were even more vulnerable
than migrating birds, a chorus
led to their destinations
by millenary magnetic patterns.
Innocent like blades of grass
their children were lost, severed
from their parents, snared
in lands of cruel egotism.
At last, the actor facing
the blood-sea, scarlet
with migrant gore, rebelled,
voicing Blake’s paradox:
“Pity would be no more
If we did not make somebody poor.”
And the sea replied with Blake’s voice:
“Then cherish pity, lest you drive an angel from your door.”
The Mask of the Dream
I witnessed the cold eyes of greed
bent on money. I had ripped off the mask
from my lover’s terrified face.
I recollected the hints of a forgotten dream
buried in the dunes of my memory. My lover’s
face, galled by the wind, floated upon the river
that captivated him. Hard on seduction, his mask
shielded the betrayal he hid from me.
I had dreamed to reach the source of my troubled
wishes, haunting me while I was wide-awake –
the dream warranted the passage of time
as if we were navigated on a cruise ship
traversing the seas of our transience.
Like the spirit that makes us recollect
dream-cues within sleep’s labyrinths
my lover’s mask watched out for us
until he regained his face after
his disconcerting disclosure.

Dr. Emily Bilman teaches poetry in Geneva as London’s Poetry Society’s Stanza representative in Switzerland. Her dissertation, The Psychodynamics of Poetry: Poetic Virtuality and Oedipal Sublimation in the Poetry of T.S. Eliot and Paul Valéry was published by Lambert Academic in 2010 and Modern Ekphrasis in 2013 by Peter Lang. Her poetry books, A Woman By A Well (2015), Resilience (2015),  and The Threshold of Broken Waters (2018) were published by Troubador, UK. Poems were published in The London Magazine, Poetry Salzburg Review, Offshoots, San Antonio Review,  Expanded Field, Poetics Research, Oxford School of Poetry Review, The Battersea Review, The Blue Nib, Poetica Review, E.Ratio, Tipton Poetry Journal. She blogs on


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