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Breath & Shadow

Fall 2020 - Vol. 17, Issue 4


written by

Virginia Betts

Trees lie fallen, lit by warm Winter sun;

a reminder of where wind, in careless fun,

threw them to the floor with abandoned glee.

And over all the silent scene

a silver shadow hangs;

the blanched sun’s diluted beams twist

between the boughs left standing,

and bend, fragmented,

to dance lightly over the defeated.

Time was, when only wind made paths through woods

and disturbed the leaves with gentle breaths.

Now fresh seasons blow relentless gales at times,

and something else is stirring.

The creatures have all left the woods deserted,

and time passes in a heartbeat;

the bleached sun exposing bones from long ago,

that lie dry and impotent,

as it rises white over this embittered isle.

Virginia graduated from Essex University with a degree in Literature, and later gained a postgraduate degree in teaching English. She taught for 15 years, then set up her tuition business, Results Tutoring, where she indulges her passion for literary analysis whilst helping her students to achieve their potential. She is a passionate advocate for neuro-diversity, particularly as she is autistic herself, diagnosed at the age of 43.

Alongside this, she writes poetry, articles and stories, making her publishing debut in The Weird and Whatnot, with her short story, “The Rented Room”. Following this, her poem, “An Afternoon Walk,” was published in the September 2019 volume of Acumen Literary Journal. The written word creates a visceral sensation in Virginia; writing is her preferred method of emotional expression and stories often come to her in dreams. Her other obsessions are swimming and violin playing. Virginia is married with one son.

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