The Tugboatman’s Daughter by Di Coffey

Sunday, 12 July 2015

Published May 2015

ISBN 978-1 909404-21-2


Pamphlet: stapled

Sample poems:





The Reward

 And so the day

winds to its close.

Inky fingers push

exercise books

into bulging satchels,

desk lids are slammed,

punishments (almost) forgotten.

In my homemade uniform;

turquoise gingham dress

brown blazer sporting

the Clare Terrace badge –

the only item affordable

from the school outfitter –

I slip away

to descend the mighty

Jacob’s Ladder.

Hedged by decaying buildings,

its one hundred and eleven steps

have been sculpted by the tread

of my ancestors.


And across the road from its feet,

The Library

and all the books of

The Famous Five.


Di Coffey


A Conversation


‘It’d be expensive,’ you say.

‘So what?’ I say.  ‘It’d be life enhancing.’


‘There’d be no money left when I’m gone,’ you say.

‘As if that matters,’ I say.  ‘And who says you’re going?’


It’d have to be big,’ you say.  ‘For my wheelchair to fit in.’

‘Plus plants,’ I say.  ‘Lots of plants.’


‘No lilies,’ you say.  ‘Lilies kill cats.’

‘False palms then,’ I say.  ‘Palms would be good.’


So a conservatory is built of plastic and glass

and neighbouring greenery filters sunlight.


And you loved it for six whole months before you died.


Di Coffey