Poems from Giotto's Circle

Other Poems

 Shadow of Myself 

This morning you caught me

trying to pick up a shadow

from the breakfast table,

I, not quite knowing

what shade of self  

it was that, lying there,

eclipsed the sun.                                                                                        


It was as if from within

a neighbouring house

which each day we’d passed as children,

but from which we had never seen

a leaving or an entering,

one day we heard music, voices.

I walked up the steps, turned the key.

The door opened.

I went in.




Some days he’s happy.
On Thursdays, he’s happy.
When I leave home on work days,
wheel my bike from the shed,
wave to him one last goodbye,
he’s looking almost jaunty,
wearing his favourite striped tie.

On these days, he’s up early,
sings on his way to the bathroom,
has time for no more than one coffee,
one toast, then
hurries out to the kitchen, drags
a high stool across the room
as far as the window.

Neighbours say he stays
at the window
at least until lunchtime
and sometimes my brother
comes very much later.
If passers by wave to him,
he doesn’t see them.
My father never takes his eye off the road.


This poem was published in January 2016 in the online journal, Ink, Sweat and Tears.  It was one of six poems shortlisted for the "Pick f the Month".

Comments on the rest of the shortlist included:Diana Brodie, Happy

Spare and precise expression, moving and surprising, mysterious and thought-provoking.

…it left a mark in my mind which remained with me long after I had finished reading all the poems.



Giotto's Circle

An O

drawn freehand, his arm

used as compass, his brush

dipped in blood red,

the round completed,

ends predicted in beginnings

which is enough.


But No! the messenger splutters.

Such a paltry thing! for he’s uneasy

that he must ride back to Rome

to deliver to His Holiness this feeble gift.

His bellow, clenching fist,

shoulders shaking beneath

their crimson cape, the infinite

height of the Papal throne.


I leave the middle chamber

of the Scrovegni Chapel,

enter the hush

of the frescoed circle

endure the shock

of shaken crimson

staining wood,

breathe the azure

of the painted sky,

breathe the stars.


                          Diana Brodie


from Giotto's  Circle, Poetry Salzburg

first published, Poetry Salzburg Review 

The Last Time

The last time I saw her, I told her

he was dead.  But this morning,

surrounded by wedding guests

in the sun-speckled churchyard, she -   

looking spectacular in her white dress,

fizzing with lace and happiness – forgot,

and asked me why he was not with me,

where he was today.


It seemed wrong to spoil the moment,

and despite the tombstones

that surrounded us, inappropriate to say.

He’s travelling, I said, which

perhaps is true.  To lie well, you must

first convince yourself.  But when I

came home I was not prepared

to find him sitting in his favourite chair,

rocking gently, smoking,

reading Flaubert.


                            Diana Brodie


first published in Poetry Street, ed Mimi Khalvati

also in Entering the Tapestry, ed Mimi Khalvati and Graham Fawcett, Enitharmon, London Poetry School

Angel of the East

 Light-years had passed since his leaving.

He had landed.  Was there a message

to deliver? An Annunciation? On the coldest

night of the year, the ambiguous angel crouched

on the roof of the Dresden shoe factory,

awaiting enlightenment, for why he had

come and what was now expected of him

he could no longer remember.


                    Throbbing wing-beats

dissolved to a mere tinnitus of memory;

celestial sky-dazzle of sun, stars, moon

spilled through the back of his eyes.

He sucked snow to refresh his soured breath,

brushed flakes from his eyes like tears.

But in the coming he had cast a fine figure:

burnished halo levitating over golden tresses,

the pearly gloss of his outstretched wings.

And the air rush as he plunged, the joy of it.


                                                   Diana Brodie


from Giotto's Circle, published by Poetry Salzburg, August 

This poem first published Borderlines, Anglo-Welsh journal

second prizewinner in Lucy Cavendish College,

  Cambridge Open Poetry Competition

Published Poems

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Harriet Gair Thurston | Reply 04.11.2013 01.10

I love these poems more and more as I read them again and again. For me there are elements of Japanese Haiku in some of her poems. Diana Brodie is so talented.

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18.02 | 20:17

cont. felt we were sharing it with you.
Best wishes and thanks for your poems. Liz

04.11 | 01:10

I love these poems more and more as I read them again and again. For me there are elements of Japanese Haiku in some of her poems. Diana Brodie is so talented.

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