Two poems by Emily Bilman




Treading the wild moors for miles
A solitary figure gathered leeches
That would soak sick bodies, purge
Their blood, cleanse, and cure them.
Like the leech-gatherer who refused
To relinquish his quest and assert
His self-reliance, I walked relentlessly
Upon endless sand dunes to reach the sea.

Water, abundant with iron and iodine
Released my breathing and vitalized me. 
On the beryl-beach, I floated on the primal
Waters like a swift marine animal defying
Gravity. I tasted the salty sea-plasma 
And felt complete with earthly joy. 

In my spirit’s independence, I swam
Towards the horizon, floating upon
The oceanic billow, my body bound
To the ocean’s song, each liquid atom
Binding me to mankind. Like the leech 
Gatherer’s heather the sea tamed
With my stout swimming body
Became a harmony of inscape
A recognition generating poetry.


    The Torn Tower


Fireflies shone under the hydrangeas
until, gradually, the glow-spots grew countless 
like the stars in the clear spotless sky 
and their incandescence enchanted me
during my evening meal of grilled fish
sprinkled with olive oil and lemon juice.
Some sweet lettuce leaves were chewed
by myriad leech-teeth when the waiters

started to carry away the empty tray with the glass
of wine and superposed plates like the fireflies 
on the slime-soil soaked with iodine

glad to get their tips for their prospects as they passed
through the iron-wrought gates leading to the open sea
boundless except for a torn tower on a promontory.


Emily Bilman

About Emily Bilman

Dr. Emily Bilman teaches poetry in Geneva as London’s Poetry Society’s Stanza representative in Switzerland. Her dissertation, 'The Psychodynamics of Poetry: Poetic Virtuality and Oedipal Sublimation in the Poetry of T.S. Eliot and Paul Valéry' was published by Lambert Academic in 2010 and 'Modern Ekphrasis' in 2013 by Peter Lang. Her poetry books, 'A Woman By A Well' (2015), 'Resilience' (2015), and 'The Threshold of Broken Waters' (2018) were published by Troubador, UK. Her new book, 'Apperception', is forthcoming in September 2020. Poems have been published in The London Magazine, Poetry Salzburg Review, Offshoots, San Antonio Review, Expanded Field, Poetics Research, Oxford School of Poetry Review, The Battersea Review, The Blue Nib, Poetica Review, E.Ratio, Tipton Poetry Journal. She blogs on: