Three Poems


Emily Bilman





The Pearl

A dream vision



Conscious of imminent social change, I crossed

The Styx with Elizabeth Browning. Her resonant

Speech shaped by determination became

The consolation that bound me to love, prompting


Me to continue my journey between the spry earth

And the vast sky wherein flowed a translucent

Stream. In contemplation, I saw a single pearl

In an oyster tainted by a bright crimson drop


Of blood whose weight anguished my awakening

With soft amplified waves of anguish and awe.

After waking, warped nerves harrowed me


Galling my legs by electrical impulses.

My scratched skin felt formicated, chafing

My blood like a river-bed scraped by its grit.





On the Causeway



The delta-fields under my feet

spurted into myriad twin orchid rows

after the seeding. I walked upon a long

causeway where the river’s umber alluvium

oozed into the cobalt sea languidly

as in rising dough, reminding me

of the wind-swept, shape-shifting

sepia sands moving among the dunes.


As I walked along, the day’s draught 

scorched my skin when I, suddenly, heard

a flock of swifts migrating to a desert

abundant in ants, locusts, and scorpions.

I saw their swarms in rhythms of evolving

flight, fledgling patterns avoiding predators

as if imprinted with sequels of subdued

ancestral wisdom like the shaping spirit


brooding in the poem, linking metaphors,

the fluency of words boosting our memory.





The Screen Lady



With his ideal lady, tarrying in his imagination,

Love led the poet to deep self-analysis.

Yet, upon her sudden death, one luminescent

Rose shone like a paper-rose, a bright light

Emanating from its creased corolla.

“You own a beautiful white rose”, the poet

Said to the strained woman who repeated

His words. Subdued in thought, the poet

Still loved his lady with a dark conscience

Yet fell in love with her screened alter-ego

For her virtue, shielding her against harm.

Guilty of love for both, the virtual child-poet,

In the agony of his amorous initiation

Asked Love for genuine compassion.









Dr. Emily Bilman is London’s Poetry Society Stanza representative in Geneva.  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 and Tipton Poetry Journal.  She blogs at