Angela Poetry Magazine –

"Blowing Out Candles" by Philip Burton


Title image shows a field of coloured flowers in long rows, each row a different bright colour.

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Published May 1, 2022

Blowing Out Candles

by Philip Burton
(Bacup, Lancashire, England)

To show me
Mum said BLOW!
Like so!
I said, Bougie!

When I was 2
The blow that was blown
was not my own.
(It was Gran who blew.)

Aged 3 I pouted
too near.
Mum spilt Dad’s beer
and the flames went out.

At 4
they held me back
with a high-chair strap
(which was a bore).

My 5th was neat.
I sneezed out a flame
(smoke was to blame)

My 6th was tainted
by me holding my breath for absolutely far too long
(right through the song)
then I fainted.

At 7 I screamed.
(I was right out of candle puff)
Blow this for a game!
They can snuff THEMSELVES!

Philip Burton is a family man, born in Fife, Scotland, and has been a hippie, a labourer, a professional student, and a Lancashire head teacher. He came to writing through the OU, and the WEA courses of Copland Smith. In 2019, Philip Burton concurrently held four UK poetry competition First prizes, including: the Jack Clemo, the Sandwich (Kent) Poet of the Year, and the Barn Owl Trust. In the Ware Poets 2020 competition Philip was awarded Third prize by Glyn Maxwell. His poetry publications include The Raven’s Diary (joe publish 1998), Couples (Clitheroe Books Press 2008), His Usual Theft (Indigo Dreams Press 2017) and Gaia Warnings (Palewell Press 2021).

Previously published in Angela Poetry Magazine:
"The Marshes of the Everglades" by Alexandra Leon

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