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red silk slippers by Marilyn Francis

montage by Paul Francis


‘It’s only a pack of cards,’ says Alice, but all is not what it seems in this White Rabbit world of dreams.

Turn the pages and two old birds in owlish specs peep back from the depths of the floral chintz, a man fries an egg in the road somewhere off Oxford Street, and cows big as wardrobes dare you to cross.

As surreal as a de Chirico creation perhaps, but this is an accessible, welcoming book of real-world poems - as real as those red silk slippers from Thailand.

Photographs, including cover artwork by Paul Francis

launch party

Launching red silk slippers

launch party


launch party


the real red silk slippers


red silk slippers


 Yesterday we celebrated all the Christmases

we’d missed since you left and this morning there’s sunshine

and a light frost and I have red silk slippers from Thailand.


Outside, blackbirds peck for worms

on the square of turf where the old cat is buried

and I have bright wooden birds from Singapore to dangle

lifelike from the bare branches of the lilac tree.


The heating pipes grumble, wind lullabies

through the chimney and I have a lucky Chinese cat

whose silvered paw waves back and forth

tick-tocking the seconds

between yesterday and tomorrow.


This morning there’s sunshine and a light frost

and I have red silk slippers from Thailand.


Title poem from 'red silk slippers' © Marilyn Francis 2009


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marilyn signing



Marilyn writes...

This was a low-key, hugely enjoyable affair – wine was drunk, nibbles nibbled, and many copies of red silk slippers were bought, and signed by me in my very best handwriting. A select band of the literary cognoscenti attended, including an intrepid couple who had trekked down from furthest Lancashire. Many pleasing things were said about the book design, and some pleasing things were even said about the contents. However, unlike the Vogon, I refused to endanger the lives of the company with any poetry reading. Hoping, rather that they’d take the books home and read them in the sunshine, though the truth was that I was saving myself for my radio debut with SomerValley FM on the following Monday. 

All in all, this has been a fantastic experience. None of it would have happened without the patient, unflagging support, of Kay Green at Circaidy Gregory Press, and some refreshingly honest critiquing from members of the Earlyworks Press writers’ forum. 



red silk slippers and yellow tulips



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