Lynda Tavakoli – Breast Talk

P Lynda Tavakoli LE P&W Vol 1 2019

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Poems by Lynda Tavakoli

Lynda Tavakoli facilitates an adult creative writing class in Lisburn, Northern Ireland. She is the author of two novels (Attachment and Of Broken Things) and a short story collection (Under a Cold White Moon). Her poetry and prose have been broadcast on the BBC and RTE. Literary successes include poetry and short story prizes at Listowel, the Mencap short story competition and the Mail on Sunday novel competition.  Lynda’s poems have been published in a variety of publications including Templar Poets’ Skein, Abridged, The Incubator Journal, Panning for Poems, Circle and Square, North West Words, Four X Four, The Honest Ulsterman, A New Ulster, Corncrake magazine and Poethead. She has been selected as The Irish Times Hennessy poet of the month for her poems about dementia, a recurring theme in much of her poetry. Most recently her poems have been translated into Farsi while others have seen publication in Bahrain.

Breast Talk

Strange, how we can speak so easily of breasts.

When he supplanted one of mine
the surgeon’s eyes were gloating satisfaction
at its matching symmetry.

I could only see that baby’s suck,
so slightly left of centre and
a puckered souvenir of what was lost.

So strange it is, how easily we speak of breasts.


Between a womb throb
and a warming heart
the float of waiting
in a milked cocoon

push then
towards the amniotic rush
of spasmed light

pulling, pulling
from the dark inside
towards the chilled enigma
of this different life.


Earth’s tautness tingles like an acned curse,
the empty stomach of her hunger
rumbling on ocean tides, lapping tears on
sterile shores.

She mourns her rugose beauty,
the contoured history that moulded her
filched by the botoxed plumpness of a
promised immortality.

For this is the new world, a death-wish world
wallowing in the pleasures of its own destruction
and flattering itself with the poisons
of an acid reflux kiss.

But underneath the surface of her skin
and far below that barborygmus core,
earth awaits the stirring of
a sleeping seed.

For the end finds a beginning in
its final breath when all that is left,
all that is left, is the vagitus of
a waiting world unborn.

In Omnia Paratus

This is how it used to be,
the unknown still a gift,
its treasures taste-touched
upon our waiting tongues.
The sky was then
a spill of cerulean blue
and the promise of us
ignited me like a spark.

Odd for me to think of it
with everything that’s
happened in between.
How life can shrug its
shoulders at the past
knowing that what matters now
is how you’d always jump for me
and me for you.


Here is the scent of roses
on a White House lawn,
where summer sunshine
smiles upon the good
and on the bad
and on the dark souls
of the unseeing, where
truth becomes subterfuge,
spreading onto unsuspecting
streets in black or white
with nothing in between.
Here is truth renouncing itself,
to finish where it started
among the dead heads
of the roses’ fading scent
upon a White House lawn.

© Lynda Tavakoli