Home at last from the Riviera, knowing
he must not look back
he walks Knightsbridge in dark chapeau
and shades. The grey light hurts.
At night, rehearsing his own lines –
memoir, novels – he is word
perfect. After the performance
a hushed procession wends
towards him and each advancing celebrant
drops their gaze,
suddenly shy to lay before him
their unread offering. One swift flourish
and heâ€™s marked the pristine page
with a blue-black emblem,
raising his head, briefly, to show those
The people find him gracious; but gods,
when they grow old, crave
adoration. How else are they to know
if there are still believers?
Â© Jill Sharp
Picture 10153723, photograph on a postcard, image copyright Mary Evans
Jill Sharp has worked as a tutor with the Open University and has also taught excluded teenagers. Her poetry has been published in many magazines including Acumen, Envoi, The Frogmore Papers, The Interpreterâ€™s House, Mslexia, Prole, Poetry Salzburg Review, Stand, and Under the Radar. Her work has also appeared in various anthologies, most recently Pale Fire (Frogmore Press) and Contemporary Gothic Verse (Emma Press), as well as online at And Other Poems, Ink, Sweat and Tears and London Grip. Her pamphlet Ye gods was published by Indigo Dreams (2015), and she was one of six poets in Vindication, an anthology from Arachne Press (2018). Her poem â€˜Cemetery crowâ€™ was placed joint-second in the 2020 Keats-Shelley Prize. Jill was a founder member of Swindonâ€™s BlueGate Poets, and she has run regular writing workshops at the Richard Jefferies Museum at Coate.