Rachel Kerr – Two Poems

Self Portrait with Certificate

Black cloak, fake ermine
and the finally realised
promise of Dutch dreams,
foiled by necessity and seafaring,
smile to the world.

It’s all new to us,
the piece of paper –
proof – and English shores,
a woman serving
in an ice cream parlour.

I have your eyes,
your placid temperament,
your entire works of Shakespeare
bound in red with perfect
yellowing pages.


A Moroccan Waiter in Lanzarote

He wishes to come to England with me,
with his degree in Geology from Marrakesh,
his desire to better himself and his knowledge
of proverbs, his good English.
He does not flirt, except to say I am sweet,
unlike my coffee. He tells me of the desert.
He has also been to Nijmegan and Bedford,
but Scotland would be cold, and wet,
and yet…
There is a dark heat here;
the earth is stone, pock-marked,
the weight of mountains disgorged
across the malpais.

Perhaps we could work together?
When you find the right person
it doesn’t matter how small your house is,
if you belong together.

His eyes shine at mine
when I catch him out, refocus
on mirages beyond the parasoled horizon.
He frowns, romantically.

Camels climb the volcano’s edge:
passengers oddly balanced.

Cross your bridges when you are ready, not before,
he nods, sagely, fingers indicating the journey
across the chequered tablecloth.
I understand why you choose to travel alone.
Tomorrow is my day off…


Self Portrait with Certificate was previously published in To Be Decided (pub. Rachel Kerr) 2015. Copyright remains with Rachel Kerr.

A Moroccan Waiter in Lanzarote was previously published in The Word (pub. York St John University 2010), The Yellow Teapot (personal blog), and To Be Decided (pub. Rachel Kerr 2015). Copyright remains with Rachel Kerr.

Rachel Kerr lives in West Yorkshire with her partner, in between the river Aire and the Leeds Liverpool canal. When she’s not writing her own poetry and fiction, Rachel provides communications support to the education sector and marketing and copy writing services to SMEs. She is also a qualified English teacher and tutors a regular creative writing class in Bradford, is a some-time tutor for The Writer’s Academy (Random House), and occasionally runs her own workshops. Rachel’s poetry has appeared in UK magazines and in 2015 she self-published a pamphlet, To Be Decided.