Anna’s Party, By Clive Eastwood

Each year we hold an internal competition for Society members, in which an independent judge selects poems for our annual Folio magazine. This year’s judge was well-known poet Judy Brown, who chose Anna’s Party by our long-time member and ex-Chair, Clive Eastwood as the winning poem. Clive is thus the 2020 recipient of the lovely Keith Francis vase. Folio #74 will be printed in the autumn.


It goes wrong at the front door:
the woman who answers isn’t the one
who invited me. I explain who I am
but she’s still unsure, watches me
over the threshold then disappears.

I admire the brace of pictures
plus the space between them, guess
at the hallway’s considerable height
then put my coat on the naked table
and choose a door. On the other side,

amongst the beautiful people,
a man with wine in both hands
tells me he shoots, adding “films”
with a practised laugh. He owns
“a little place in Umbria” and a few

is that so‘s and really‘s keep him going
through a double refill. Twice
the door-opener walks past
and I make as if the shooter and I
go back a long way – but her nostrils

tremble like a suspicious dog’s.
When il direttore takes a breath
I excuse myself, scribble “To Anna,
it was fun, shame I missed you.”
and leave unseen so the welcomer
can worry all night where I am. 

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