David Ratcliffe – Topiary

David Ratcliffe hails from the north of England though now living in the south. he write’s poetry, short stories, song lyrics (Two of his songs have been recorded by Leeds band Backyard Burners) & Stage plays (one of which is with a theatre company in London). In 2016 poem ‘Home Straight’ was shortlisted in the Fermoy International Poetry Festival Completion. His poetry has been published in many magazines, like THE BeZINE, Poetry Pacific, TRR Poetry, Sixteen Magazine, Mad Swirl, and Tulip Tree Review.


It began with half-truths,
parodies and whitewash;
a journey beyond possibility, 
one falsehood too far 
through a labyrinth of reason
where fantasy exceeded plausibility.

Faced with proof you questioned its validity,
when wildflowers appeared 
you replaced them with topiary;
I’d held their beauty in a waking dream, 
stuffed into my pillowcase 
safe from my minds persuasion.

Though now fully awake, 
truth pops up like burnt toast;
from a once disturbed crime scene
I find your DNA in weed stems,
footprints in the weathered earth,
leaving me lonely as a dripping tap.

The cold wind of truth bit hard, 
as time decayed your alibi
turning your oasis to tumbleweed, 
till only infertile ground remains
and you finally submit to the 
benevolent hands of rehabilitation.



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