Guest Poem by Veronica Beedham

Veronica’s work has been quite widely published in magazines and literary journals. In 2011 she won the Troubadour Prize and more recently was awarded second place in the Acumen Poetry Prize, 2021. The Overton Pamphlet Prize in 2016 gave rise to her first pamphlet, ‘A Sense of Place’ published in 2017 by Loughborough University Press. At the moment, she is working with Italian photographer, Renzo Bertasi, on a pamphlet of poems and photographs.

The Old Empire

Between Dreamland and the Amusement
Arcade, Art-deco’s brown-gold, the foyer –

polished wood, bakelite and glass – lit up
so you could easily walk in, the usherette

in chiaroscuro gloom, ready to take you down
with her single torch beam to your numbered seat

to wait for that flicker of shadows across the screen.
Sometimes life looks simple.

Outside, one of the guards in orange day-glow
lifts the heavy steel fence to let out two young actors

into Margate’s breezy afternoon –
racing clouds over a turquoise sea.

It’s all a mock-up, he says – smiling, sotto voce.