Seated lady x Ivy-leafed toadflax
(x Aubrey Beardsley)

a snapdragon face reads exotic

           round to heart-shaped

her leaves alternate along

           thin stems winding silks

intricately the way a devil’s ribbon

           weaves through brick


pollinated this mother of thousands

           turns photophobic

seams stone and concrete

           tendrilling down

to seed the underplaces

           overgrown with dark


it’s so wet nestled and

           germinating in crevices

her daughters rustle

           shimmering over walls

their love for the sun is

           hot-soiled and naked

Aubrey Beardsley, A Seeress, reproduced in Bon-Mots of Charles Lamb Douglas Jerrold (London: Dent, 1893), p. 62



A chinese-malaysian living in London, L Kiew earns her living as an accountant. She holds a MSc in Creative Writing and Literary Studies. Her debut pamphlet The Unquiet came out with Offord Road Books in February 2019. She is currently a participant in the London Library Emerging Writers Programme.