Series Editor - Jim Bennett

Introduction by Jim Bennett


Hello.  Welcome to the next in the series of CITN featured poets.  We will be looking at the work of a different poet in each edition and I hope it will help our readers to discover some new and exciting writing.  This series is open to all to submit and I am now keen to read new work for this series.


You can join the CITN mailing list at - http://www.poetrykit.org/pkl/index.htm and following the links for Caught in the Net.



When I get home, I close the mouth of the loo; 

sit and watch him swish this way and that.

His fat, wet behind rises up and down

like a barren island in a storm,


                 from; The Seal  by Hilda Sheehan





Dragoljub Obnažena!

Dear love you all

beautiful is told a thing or two


My Mother Spilt Herself

The Parting

Wooden Family

The House That Died

The Seal 

The Long Walk Home



1 – BIOGRAPHY:  Hilda Sheehan


Hilda Sheehan's poems have appeared on the BBC Website, The Rialto, National Poetry Society Website, The New Writer and South magazines. She performs her work at Bath Literature Festival, Bath Poetry Café and Corsham Poetry Festival and at other poetry events in the South West region. She gained a distinction in creative writing with the Open University. Hilda is also the founder and organiser of BlueGate Poets and assistant to Swindon Artswords Literature Development Worker. Hilda runs workshops in prisons, councils and schools based on inspiring others to discover the joy of poetry! She is the MC of Swindon’s popular Open Mic night at the Arts Centre in Old Town.










Dragoljub Obnažena!


Me and Dragoljub sit in the bathtub u uživanja,

our small lake sings dalika but he thinks in guitar.

Let’s go Japanski he says and utiskuje large feet

snove between my breasts – moju strast!

I turn taps to zadivljujući hot, ima i radosti but,

he’s sneoprezna ponekad with my feelings

so spoilt bubbles i jeze he’s lagano made so istinski

silna and I am obnažena!  Oh žudim nema

for warm dry towels of savršenstvom.




Dear love you all


Believe the cock woke us sharp and ready to plant the guess what a bomb 

invasion of sky meant no one could see. How huge the birds flew that day 

with nothing to spin and spangled a star ship anyway.

              Floris is grinning,

                    David might, he might.


I wish you were chicken seeds and lightening takes place daily most places

burnt by it, feed by it, salty. Oh Daisy arrived scented by love it was Duncan,

he plastered his limbs head by head to her back and she no longer walks.

                What would you do?

                      Graham said unstick the velvet lips.


All the very best of house eye view is wasted on most places I visit Sarah

wished she didn't. She did. There's a war on and the globe's in a dress

of unnatural fumes leaking the joy of money make and happen.

                 Nothing puts us back.

                         Mary, what do you think?


P.S I wouldn't say it was hot next week, who can tell when everything is boiling

and narky dogs complain their balls are cooked. See suns insert

what's left of Christmas, we all had such a great pudding of empty.

                   Mum is a jumper wrapped and screwed.

                           Dad didn't notice, wished his vest came true.




beautiful is told a thing or two




beautiful I’ll wait for you until the clock strikes beautiful at midnight and one



beautiful all we want is jewel lipped laughter glossed away why wasn't your father told



beautiful I want to lay beside you take my small tongs curl your hair to swans



beautiful something tells me the gate was locked behind you forever

lights left singing



beautiful I'll buy your children things of gold shops dug up treasure

why not take them



beautiful we must make a cloud burst make a river make a whole mountain

climb up between



beautiful I will alter you up like a god like sweet things gifted dressed

to stop the world beautiful



beautiful Pete told you I told you each day will always be a beautiful place to picnic in your perfume



beautiful I will hang you up above a shelf of things that describe your face

my wall loves you too



beautiful if you go down the shops the ugly might buy you with biscuits

a paper and a coffee





The unattractive woman will never be: not the size of her breasts, not her not

pout, not an hour glass goes by at the lack of smile and tuts the kitchen tight a fuck it.

Please kettle on and broom handle, please suck out your ugly in cans of fish mouth

defying mercury. Greet the postman a heaven waits stamp: sulk, stomp, cry!

It's all good for Sainsbury’s and silver people to see you this way. 


                     What the God did you wake for?

                     How mountains did you buy that dress?

                     The cost of you is ugly inside out. 

                     You think all day a diet weight scoff.


Ugly in the kitchen, ugly on the bus, ugly by the roadside, ugly in concrete,

ugly mother cries in smacks, ugly of Britain, ugly sitting ugly aren't we all? 




My Mother Spilt Herself


all over the kitchen floor. Like blood

she filled each crack and crevice;

a flood of herself, a flood of flesh and crying.

Her dress dripped of herself, dripped into pots and pans,

scraped to one side by knives and forks;

the walls moved in, peered over the mess

to get a closer look.


What if she’d spilt me too?

My broken up, clotted baby self

stained into scratch marks made through

pushing me out in pain;

cells dropped and spattered on the world:

such a giant cluster of girl!




The Parting


He was an old bloke. Not a bloke

looking young for his age, or one

to hide lovers in the village

away from a kitchen wife, or make 


up stories down the local pub

to a crowd of mates. He was alone;

you don’t dress in green crimplene 

trousers with off-white grubby


shirt for anyone else. His parting

of coarse grey hair was the first thing

that struck me; how it split him

right down the middle: two parts,


symmetrical (half sad, half sad).

I’d a vision of him as a boy,

his mother combing him in two,

expecting he would stay like that.




Wooden Family


he was wooden or made of wood 

she is and should 

made a child with five fingers


on two hands so solid his body 

made not in love when touched it sank 

below the cellar of the house


they'd call the little wooden son 

to get to bed a bed of wood

but he'd stay down


as long as he could 

being made of wood left him careless 

like them he'd come back bruised 


knocked about in need of food 

some beeswax a cloth

was all the three of them would




The House That Died



One day, our house stopped breathing.

A passer-by noticed it going blue

as noise escaped from an open window:

there was a gasp, then a choke.


Normal people came out from their breathing homes to help – 

patted it on the back, made suggestions: 


"Cut the hedge down, tidy the garden,

weed it, scrape it, paint it a brilliant white –

don’t walk on the grass for God’s sake!" 


"Punch it in the chest, electrocute it, stick

a knife in its throat – insert a straw, then blow." 


Nothing helped, our house died. 

The council pronounced it dead in its corner plot.


"Sorry, it just gave up the will to be a home." 


How it suffered – tried so hard to breathe,

make space, be tidy, stylish, organised –

look nice like other houses on the street.


It went stiff and black quite quickly;

flesh fell from its frame like bricks

toppling off a tall building.


In the silence of our grief, we chased flies off its back, 

left the bones for all to see: 

no funeral though.




The Seal 


Sometimes, the seal from next door 

borrows my bathtub to loll in cool water. 

He says, there's nowhere left to get wet

and lets himself in with the key I leave in a dried up sea 

under broken corrugated coral.  


When I get home, I close the mouth of the loo; 

sit and watch him swish this way and that.

His fat, wet behind rises up and down

like a barren island in a storm,


sending waves to me – 

          the kind that make you want to club the wicked,

                                 or throw a fish.


 Later, when only his head can be seen,

we talk in ripples that circle him;

silence our lost worlds.


I don’t know why he comes, it’s not as if we're lovers: 

he’s a seal, and I just live here.




The Long Walk Home


He wanted to take me away, to Leicester,

Grimsby, Preston; take my pick, decide later.


Come on, think about it –Skegness, Coventry?

We can get jobs or buy an ice cream van,


close up whenever we wanted to kiss

over cones under swirls of Mr. Whippy, rockets –


just one Cornetto and a Screwball dearest.

Instead, I got off home, did the kid's tea, 


the shopping, made the beds, polished the TV,

washed up, hoovered, fed the cat.


I’d touched his cheek; smooth he softened, dripped

to my feet. I thought of those long hot summer walks


home from school with an ice-cream melted

before I could eat it, thinking: what a waste.



3 - Afterword

Email Poetry Kit - info@poetrykit.org    - if you would like to tell us what you think.  We are looking for other poets to feature in this series, and are open to submissions.  Please send one poem and a short bio to - info@poetrykit.org

Thank you for taking the time to read Caught in the Net.  Our other magazine s are Transparent Words ands Poetry Kit Magazine, which are webzines on the Poetry Kit site and this can be found at -