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Breath & Shadow

Summer 2021 - Vol. 18, Issue 3

"Westminster Bridge 2020"

written by

Virginia Betts

Returning to the scene today at dawn,

I wonder that this view deserved a sonnet.

For suddenly I stand, watching an unfamiliar horizon;

the sun’s ruby-tainted orb struggling into sight,

wrapped as in a bloody shroud.

No majesty in these clouds which herald her appearance

like fallen angels clothed in stained white.

The silent city sleeps still:

but demons stalk the dreams of children

desperate to claw back hours and minutes lost

to Time’s indomitable stride.

Earth has oft seen long wars hard won;

but facing an invisible enemy,

this city’s mighty heart arrests,

and love lies bleeding in the dust;

a far cry from humanity;

when we can only live to hope

of walking hand in hand

where pure skies may yet reign.

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. Recently, Breath and Shadow, published a memoir, (Gifted) and poem (Forest). Furthermore, Minerva Rising featured her poem, Dysmorphic. A poem, Flesh and Glass, which was a semi-finalist in Sunspot Literary Journal ‘Inception’ competition, will be featured in a collection of works created during lockdown. Finally, Virginia’s debut collection of short stories, The Camera Obscure, will be published in late 2021. 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, aged 19.

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