Three Poems by Peter Lilly

These three poems by Peter Lilly invite the reader to intimately experience the uneven passage of time. Looking back, “Legacy” expresses gratitude for the wonder of story while “To My Son…” enters into a specific moment to appreciate its timelessness, and “After the Assault” defies one to imagine true growth from a place of impossible brokenness, without denying the wounds…

by: Peter Lilly


There are treasures in my legacy.
Troves of endless worlds,
Tightly enveloped in themselves,
Waiting to be unfurled,
To flutter an invitation
Into a dynamism beyond
Any mere object.

Bound in leather and ordered,
Patiently silent,
Content to hold their breath
And all their secrets of layered wonder
Until a searcher unfolds them,
And enters.

They have written their interweaving stories
Onto my double helix
And given my feet flight.
They have signed their name into
The wet concrete of my foundations.
They call from centuries past and
From this very moment.
They are always being written,
As am I.


After The Assault

There is hope in the bruises.
But there is no cure,
Only the rumor
Of prevention
Of repetition.

It’s quiet
Amongst the clattering chaos
Of dropped creations.

Do not try to gather yourself
Into one flawed container.
Try to find new uses
For the displaced fragments of your whole,
That still ring with the sound of their shattering.

It is true,
These fists have changed your future,
But to admit that,
Is not to admit defeat.


To My Son at Five Months

Sweat glitters your forehead
From the effort of eating.
I can see your heartbeat
Pulsating the membrane beneath
Your translucent hair,
White like your viking mother’s.
The plates of your skull are still
Fusing together,
Still displaying that
Diamond of vulnerability:
An open mind.

The sun shines through your pink ears
Like jellyfish in turquoise water.
Your lower lip glistens from
Vibrating the sound you have just learned.
Your heart-mouth is open
In an innocent curiosity
That is too young for etiquette.
You push your cheek into my nose
As if to embrace some beautiful
And incontrovertible realisation,
As if to embrace the pillow for rest.


Peter Lilly Is a British poet. Originally from Gloucester, he studied Theology in London, where he then worked with the homeless for  five years. He now lives in Montpellier, France, with his wife and son. His poetry is inspired by his faith and love of theology and philosophy, his work with vulnerable people, and his beloved family. His work has appeared in the 2018 anthology Please Hear What I am Not Saying, and the online journals Barehands, Fly on the Wall Webzine and Heart of Flesh Literary Journal. Follow Peter on Twitter here.

2 replies on “Three Poems by Peter Lilly”
  1. says: Arthur Rosch

    I like these poems, especially the last one. Poetry is such a free medium that it often becomes solipsistic. With these poems I felt the poet speaking to me rather than just to himself. That’s a great achievement. Bravo, Brother Peter.

    1. says: Peter Lilly

      Thanks for the feedback Arthur! I really appreciate how you have engaged with my poems and taken the time to be so encouraging. I’m glad it felt like I was speaking to you.

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