Intro: an old one..

Main text of your writing.

Above our heads a belligerent sun

elbows its way through stuttering clouds

as we spread out the tablecloth in ritual fashion.

No eye contact.


Indifferent shrugs

far more cutting than verbal abuse

curdle the early morning air.

A nervous silence thick as custard

oozes from each stinging-nettle grimace and gesture

as we spread out the cheese

and bread and wine

in our usual methodical manner.


And the car looks on in sullen spite.


I lose concentration and my fingers brush her hand

by accident and she recoils at the invasion

(neither of us taking offence).


The kids have gone- to God knows where

and we sit in our wordless hell.


I drink most of the wine (she is driving)

But we share the food.

Sometimes I even forget her name.


We tidy up rising simultaneously

and limp back to the car.

The car sneers upon our return.

I hear it snigger as she inserts the key

into the lock.

The engine snorts in contempt

then home to an empty house.

© Aramis 2023
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critique and comments welcome.
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A very atmospheric poem full of imagery describing the alienation of two people. The line “The kids have gone- to God knows where” suggests to me that this is due to the empty net syndrome which has created a vacuum in their relationship. Yet ordinary rituals, like a picnic, are still performed by the couple who are in denial about the break up.
Excellent writing, Aramis. Well done.


I don’t know what happened but earlier I commented that this was an excellent description of a situation. Good job.


This is a really atmospheric, evocative piece of verse. I love the car anology = the snarl, sneer and snort. Worthy of the nomination as it stands. I do think it could do with another review, though. “We tidy up rising’ reads as one single action. ‘The car. The car” is an inelegant repeat for me? Perhaps you could also leave out ‘back’, in ‘back to the car’. And ‘into the lock’ after ‘she inserts the key’. It makes it seem less of a simple statement of fact for me..


For me this is excellent, the metaphor so descriptive. Well deserving of the Nib and Nom. I hope to read more of your work. “a nervous silence thick as custard” brilliant stuff.

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