Clair Chilvers

Portrait of Professor Clair Chilvers, Chair of the Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Photographed on 22.03.2013.

Clair Chilvers was a cancer scientist, and latterly worked for the UK National Health Service.

She divides her time between writing and running a mental health research charity.

She lives in Gloucestershire, UK and has had poems published in Ink Sweat and Tears, Agenda,

Allegro, Amaryllis, Atrium, Artemis and Sarasvati.

Consider the lilies of the field…

A line of aspens frames the stream.
They flaunt their shimmering summer dresses
toss back their hair to taunt the wind,
to tease me with their disregard.
Beset by gales they bend with grace
accommodating to the blow
to domination by the wind
unconcerned what others think.
They stand alone but made more strong
by bonds of intertwining branches
pity my worldly cares and woes
They toil not neither do they spin.

Death of a mulberry tree

The trees mass behind the house
                      thick canopy of summer gone now
                                  the skeletons
        of branches     waving long fingers       intertwined
                            not love, but desperation
                                              anticipating the gale
the heft of the wind against     
                             their strong frames
                             facing into it      
             going with it           giving way to it
a branch snaps       
caught by the branches below
             before the wind catches it again    
hurls it towards the death wish of the old mulberry tree

Nanny wore silk pyjamas

Nanny slept with David and me
in the nursery.
Mummy dined in style
with her little silver bell to call the servant.
At the French Beach,
the wash from tankers
seems like a tsunami
when you are four years old.
Sundays at Lake Timsah
Mummy wore glamorous shorts, sailed with Daddy 
while we fished with Nanny
with a bent pin and bread for bait.
We walked through date palms
across the narrow lock
the park smelt of heat, exotic flowers
I was sick from too much lemonade.

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