Picaroon Poetry - Issue #8 - May 2017

In this issue, we have conflict, infidelity, introspection, death, and all of the other finer things in life - and, really, what more do you want from a poetry journal? Happy reading! Features work by Arushi Singh, Laura Enright, Kathleen Latham, Spencer Folkins, Neil Fulwood, Joe Williams, Ceinwen E. Cariad Haydon, Monique Byro, Mat Gould, Andie Berryman, Mark Young, David Subacchi, Sarah Doyle, Miki Byrne, Grant Tarbard, Violet Dahl, anggo genorga, Sharon Larkin, Lyndi Bell O'Laughlin, Noel Williams, Penny Sharman, Nicky Phillips, Sheikha A., Lesley Quayle, Michael Marrotti, Michèle Alter Brenton, Robert Nisbet, and Barry Fentiman Hall.

In this issue, we have conflict, infidelity, introspection, death, and all of the other finer things in life - and, really, what more do you want from a poetry journal? Happy reading! Features work by Arushi Singh, Laura Enright, Kathleen Latham, Spencer Folkins, Neil Fulwood, Joe Williams, Ceinwen E. Cariad Haydon, Monique Byro, Mat Gould, Andie Berryman, Mark Young, David Subacchi, Sarah Doyle, Miki Byrne, Grant Tarbard, Violet Dahl, anggo genorga, Sharon Larkin, Lyndi Bell O'Laughlin, Noel Williams, Penny Sharman, Nicky Phillips, Sheikha A., Lesley Quayle, Michael Marrotti, Michèle Alter Brenton, Robert Nisbet, and Barry Fentiman Hall.


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<strong>Issue</strong> <strong>#8</strong><br />

<strong>May</strong> <strong>2017</strong><br />

Edited by Kate Garrett<br />

All poems copyright © <strong>2017</strong> individual authors<br />

Selection/issue copyright © <strong>2017</strong> Kate Garrett / <strong>Picaroon</strong> <strong>Poetry</strong>

This Month’s Rogue Poems ● <strong>May</strong> <strong>2017</strong><br />

The Slush Pile<br />

Arushi Singh<br />

What’s on your mind?<br />

Laura Enright<br />

Heart Block<br />

Kathleen Latham<br />

Confession<br />

Spencer Folkins<br />

Can’t Take Me Anywhere<br />

Neil Fulwood<br />

Rehearsal<br />

Joe Williams<br />

Tied<br />

Ceinwen E. Cariad Haydon<br />

when you tell me Your Happiness is more important than mine<br />

Monique Byro<br />

baptism babe<br />

Mat Gould<br />

Weight<br />

Andie Berryman<br />

testing the spaces<br />

Mark Young<br />

Bluebells<br />

David Subacchi<br />

Man and Tree<br />

Sarah Doyle<br />

Poem to a Derelict Fishing Boat<br />

Miki Byrne<br />

The Remembrance Reel<br />

Grant Tarbard<br />

Chauchilla Cemetery<br />

Violet Dahl

to Max<br />

anggo genorga<br />

1024 – homage to Incubus<br />

Sharon Larkin<br />

Why Kim Won’t Go Out at Night<br />

Lyndi Bell O’Laughlin<br />

Mothballing the observatory<br />

Noel Williams<br />

Aromatic Kitchen<br />

Penny Sharman<br />

Unpickling<br />

Nicky Phillips<br />

Sadaqah<br />

Sheikha A.<br />

For Her<br />

Lesley Quayle<br />

Redemptive Clause<br />

Michael Marrotti<br />

Internal Conflict Resolution<br />

Michèle Alter Brenton<br />

Tailgaters<br />

Robert Nisbet<br />

The Road to Domestos<br />

Barry Fentiman Hall

The Slush Pile<br />

Arushi Singh<br />

To the Editor<br />

They told me that everybody is not Shakespeare<br />

But darling, everybody is Wordsworth, their voice was just never heard<br />

So I tip toe across the slush piles pretending all of life isn’t in it<br />

Stepping on the occasional memorably eccentric, my demon told me<br />

Life will suck the life out from under you<br />

He was right so here I am<br />

A fragile atheist at my knees<br />

Right before you<br />

Tell me darling, does your wizard have a lightning bolt scar too?<br />

I wanted fame in a heaving peace of words<br />

They told me you’re good<br />

But not for us<br />

So I tip toe across the slush piles pretending all of us aren’t in it<br />

Remind me when your suicidal girl gets a dragon tattoo<br />

And I’ll slip you right through<br />

They told me you’re good<br />

But not for us<br />

And I wonder when words ever mean what you think they mean<br />

Or just what you’d kill to have them mean

What’s on your mind?<br />

Laura Enright<br />

Once I read online<br />

that poetry is becoming more popular<br />

to tweet<br />

even if you must write<br />

in txt spk<br />

this stanza shows you 140 characters<br />

(it doesn’t get you very far)<br />

the internet is bad, boys & girls<br />

always giving you something to compare yourself to<br />

or something you wish you had<br />

or someone you wish you had back<br />

but what seems to drive people craziest is<br />

messenger<br />

‘Seen’ 12.23pm<br />

k...<br />

idc<br />

this same friend said once that one of the toughest things<br />

about her breakup was<br />

having to log out of her ex-boyfriend’s<br />

Netflix account<br />

lucky her.<br />

thanks for sharing.<br />

sometimes google writes poems for me<br />

if I type in the first few words<br />

I wonder if<br />

we smile in our coffins<br />

I wonder if<br />

anyone misses me<br />

I wonder if<br />

I’m wasting my time

Heart Block<br />

Kathleen Latham<br />

The doctor tells me that the electrical system of my heart is faulty.<br />

Connections that should be made are blocked.<br />

He draws a crude diagram that looks more like a clenched fist<br />

than the battered shape I envision laboring beneath my ribs.<br />

He draws paths with arrows and carelessly tosses around words<br />

like missed signals and impaired impulses.<br />

He draws a dark, transecting line to symbolize the block<br />

and labels the area above it the Bundle of His.<br />

“It’s pronounced hiss,” he says, “like a snake.”<br />

I imagine it then. That microscopic dead end.<br />

I imagine the energy of my body, minding its own business,<br />

hurtling forward, all those cells firing off like the wave at a stadium,<br />

thousands of eager fans jumping from their seats to cheer me on,<br />

arms raised, mouths open, and then, without warning,<br />

that solid black line—<br />

Stopping them cold. Shutting them up. Telling them to take their<br />

seats because you decided that girl who works at Chili’s was better<br />

for you than I was, because I had to come home and trip over<br />

her trashy, pink-heeled shoes and follow the sound of your laughter<br />

up to our bedroom, the blood pumping in my ears for maybe<br />

the last normal time.<br />

“We may never know why you have it,” the doctor says.<br />

“<strong>May</strong>be you’ve had it your whole life.”<br />

But I know.<br />

It was years ago,<br />

but I still carry the scar<br />

of your fangs.

Confession<br />

Spencer Folkins<br />

Confession:<br />

When I was younger<br />

I thought my brother would one day surpass me in age<br />

because that’s how age worked<br />

in my mind<br />

young people grew older<br />

and seniority was a debt to be paid<br />

Confession:<br />

On the day I turned ten<br />

I remember staring out the window, knowing<br />

the future had its own gravity<br />

I was not allowed to escape<br />

Confession:<br />

I’m still learning to accept that<br />

Confession:<br />

When I was a teenager I ordained<br />

space;<br />

this place is for contemplation,<br />

this one for feeling,<br />

this one to forget<br />

nothing bad could ever happen here<br />

Confession:<br />

I confuse loneliness for not being owed<br />

Confession:<br />

One day, I’ll look back<br />

realize it’s already too late

Can’t Take Me Anywhere<br />

Neil Fulwood<br />

It’s me making the too-loud comment<br />

for the benefit of a lager drinker<br />

in a real ale pub. It’s me asking for brown sauce<br />

in the Michelin-starred restaurant.<br />

It’s me prompting that roll of the eyes, that<br />

shake of the head. It’s me photobombing the Mona Lisa,<br />

Whistler’s mother, the barmaid at the Folies-Bergère.<br />

It makes you despair of me even more<br />

that I know what year Manet painted it. How to spell<br />

Folies-Bergère. Where the accent goes.

Rehearsal<br />

Joe Williams<br />

I rehearse in my mind<br />

the words I have to say.<br />

I’ve written your lines too<br />

to sit between mine,<br />

in the hope that you won’t<br />

stray too far off-script.<br />

I need to tell you something.<br />

Perhaps you’ve worked it out,<br />

though you haven’t said a word<br />

about the new shirts,<br />

the late nights at work,<br />

or the weekend away<br />

with friends I’d never mentioned.<br />

No, you don’t know her.<br />

<strong>May</strong>be you’ll shout<br />

and call me a bastard.<br />

You’ll probably cry.<br />

Perhaps I will too,<br />

while I’m packing my bags<br />

or opening the door.<br />

I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.<br />

The last words are always<br />

the hardest to write.<br />

I’ve never been good<br />

at endings.

Tied<br />

Ceinwen E. Cariad Haydon<br />

Blues and reds of silk-shot winter skies<br />

blessed our time in Prague.<br />

Promised partners –<br />

only friends.<br />

And we’d spoken true. Until.<br />

We tramped old streets,<br />

Stopped at bars for coffee<br />

chased by brandy. Flushed<br />

with adventure and daring<br />

to go a little further.<br />

Later, before guilt snagged,<br />

I learnt –<br />

love is two pairs of shoes,<br />

kicked off quickly, laces still tied.

when you tell me Your Happiness is more important<br />

than mine<br />

Monique Byro<br />

I make grilled cheeses when I’m feeling down, on days like this one.<br />

Two slices of Provolone, extra butter, and maybe some homemade fries too,<br />

if I’m feeling adventurous.<br />

Yeah, self-help is a joke, but this sandwich is life changing.<br />

I put on mismatched socks, one purple, one blue,<br />

and I rip myself out of bed,<br />

to just exist.<br />

I put on a .99 facemask I bought<br />

two months ago at Walmart,<br />

because a facemask is as good a mask as any that I was planning on wearing<br />

today.<br />

I try to play “Island in the Sun” on my ukulele,<br />

and cringe at how embarrassing I am.<br />

I wonder if you’re thinking about me.<br />

I remind myself not to care, then put on that sweatshirt you got at the flea<br />

market and walk out of my stale and friendly dorm.<br />

I sit on the grass between our buildings, and fail to draw the sky.<br />

But I still smile, because I like the way my socks are brighter than any<br />

Prismacolor pencil.

aptism babe<br />

Mat Gould<br />

Monday morning doing the weekend’s dishes<br />

while listening to Grant Green’s Idle Moments<br />

can fog be big or is there just a lot of it?<br />

egg must be rinsed from the plate<br />

because if it sits for a day or so, it becomes an arrogant barnacle of which true<br />

labor can only remove.

Weight<br />

Andie Berryman<br />

Glider pilots<br />

Don’t have superstitions.<br />

New shoes on the table<br />

only elicit<br />

examination to see<br />

if the table is strong enough to<br />

bear the shoes.

testing the spaces<br />

Mark Young<br />

I shook<br />

his hand. In<br />

some transactions<br />

the pressing<br />

of flesh<br />

against<br />

flesh<br />

is just the<br />


Bluebells<br />

David Subacchi<br />

This is where Bluebells grew,<br />

Where sunlight stabbed<br />

Between crowded trees<br />

Dazzling children<br />

Walking to a school,<br />

Waiting peacefully<br />

Below the crows’ nests<br />

And overgrown<br />

Ornamental gardens.<br />

And this is where<br />

The mad dog<br />

Lay in wait<br />

Starved of affection<br />

Eager for flesh.

Man and Tree<br />

Sarah Doyle<br />

“On Thursday 10 th July 1834, a large barrow of tumulus containing a burial was opened at<br />

Gristhorpe, near Scarborough [… revealing…] a perfectly preserved crouched human skeleton<br />

with grave goods, inside a hollowed-out oak trunk coffin. […] Research has so far indicated […] a<br />

current date of burial between 2200 BC and 1900 BC.”<br />

– Gristhorpe Man exhibition notes, Rotunda Museum, Scarborough<br />

This felled carcass,<br />

hollowed body of<br />

wood and bark and<br />

twig and leaf, where<br />

I am woven through<br />

earth in thick stitches<br />

that time cannot<br />

unravel. This prone<br />

giant that fingered<br />

the sky and held<br />

birds in its twisted<br />

limbs, where beetles<br />

map my thinning skin.<br />

This cradle of agerings<br />

that knew a<br />

season’s turn by the<br />

length of its own<br />

shadows, where my<br />

tongue curls round<br />

old words that decay<br />

in the mouth’s cavity.<br />

This gutted trunk in<br />

whose belly I blacken<br />

slowly, where men<br />

will come to see my<br />

bones as treasure.

Poem to a Derelict Fishing Boat<br />

Miki Byrne<br />

Gulls cry out, for she who rode white horses.<br />

Dipped and dived through wind-lifted watery cliffs,<br />

keel balanced, bow-proud, nets flung wing-wide<br />

to harvest natures’ bounty.<br />

Her own curves echoed in those of a breaching whale<br />

flash of shoaling fish, hauled in a star-filled thrash.<br />

Decks were slimed with scales and echoed<br />

with the slap of wadered feet, a shanties low hum.<br />

Now she rests, ribs worn skinny by elemental scouring.<br />

Painted strakes sun-blistered, hull pocked by scabs<br />

of dried weed and barnacles.<br />

Her mast is amputated, bilges drained dry<br />

as a bloodless carcass.<br />

Her rudder is skewed stuck, in the paralysis of death.<br />

She lists into shingle, casts a forlorn shadow<br />

upon rattling stones, harbours crab-scuttle<br />

and shelled creatures.<br />

Tips her peeling, tilted, prow to the unforgiving sky.

The Remembrance Reel<br />

Grant Tarbard<br />

This tiny funeral cannot convey<br />

that we know shared loss. This tiny window<br />

cannot completely transmit that we knew<br />

shared love and have traversed treacherous seas.<br />

This tiny man fixated on a breath,<br />

a single tree swayed outside his window.<br />

This tiny pane can’t unfurl the petals<br />

of a life – ear ache, orgasm, toothpaste, gin,<br />

the melted sky of a Cornish sunset –<br />

the clouds were as empty as dog collars.<br />

This tiny man, behind his eyes cities<br />

dwell, weary reapers crank the beguiled lights.<br />

This tiny gallows is the last food bank,<br />

this tiny charnel house wants volunteers.

Chauchilla Cemetery<br />

Violet Dahl<br />

Chauchilla conjures<br />

bone-chillers<br />

skeletons draped<br />

in whispering strips<br />

of papyrus skin<br />

they sing only of<br />

the East’s aridity<br />

and Peruvian coffee<br />

blacker than<br />

eye sockets<br />

the Poroma riverbed<br />

mourns their<br />

sojourn – detour<br />

number four off<br />

the Panamerican Highway<br />

Nazca to Cahuachi<br />

if you please<br />

if you believe<br />

in etching geoglyphs<br />

with God’s toes.

to Max<br />

anggo genorga<br />

don’t know why<br />

they say all dogs<br />

go to heaven<br />

when they die<br />

but i would love<br />

to see you there —<br />

your paws and tongue<br />

massaging the back<br />

of tired saints<br />

playing fetch with angels<br />

with that stupid<br />

flattened plastic ball<br />

rolling your body of<br />

fine dark fur with ticks on<br />

ethereal clouds and blue skies<br />

barking on the pearly gates<br />

as it denies entry to<br />

some poor souls<br />

howling on the illuminating<br />

light as you watch angels<br />

of death take flight<br />

ripping off the first few<br />

chapters whatever holy book<br />

you might see there<br />

piss on the throne of the<br />

Almighty and marking it<br />

as your territory;<br />

go max, and mess around<br />

have God clean your crap<br />

scattered all over the place —

it’s much better to do than<br />

shed a tear and run out of breath<br />

as you finally meet your maker.

1024 – homage to Incubus<br />

Sharon Larkin<br />

Every morning a waif<br />

in a grey hoodie<br />

stares zombie-like in crowds:<br />

airport lounge, classroom,<br />

church, shop, office,<br />

road junction, supermarket.<br />

She screams for a whole minute<br />

and everyone is snatched away.<br />

An empty bus crashes, a coffee mug<br />

falls, a shopping trolley rolls<br />

and instruments lie, abandoned.<br />

She was trying to warn us.

Why Kim Won’t Go Out at Night<br />

Lyndi Bell O’Laughlin<br />

The aurora borealis filled the sky<br />

during a family vacation in Kim’s eighth year;<br />

the cracks in the spruce trees let it in.<br />

It spied her strong while faking only a glance<br />

as she clutched the deck rails on<br />

her uncle’s trailer house in Nunapitchuk.<br />

Uncle Chuck, a gentle squab of a man,<br />

told her not to look too close<br />

at the undulating shades of green and red,<br />

the purple with its yellow teeth,<br />

but she did anyway,<br />

so Uncle told her that the northern lights<br />

are the dancing spirits of children<br />

who died at birth, and that<br />

we must be respectful.<br />

Bullshit, Auntie said.<br />

The big woman singed meat in<br />

whale fat with a black iron skillet<br />

and Kim believed all her pontifications.<br />

E’rybody knows, said Auntie,<br />

the aurora borealis be the spirits of<br />

the dead playing ball with a walrus.<br />

Kim’s Uncle and Auntie<br />

agreed on one point.<br />

Never whistle at it.<br />

If you do it will come down<br />

and pluck you from the earth.

Mothballing the observatory<br />

Noel Williams<br />

Confronting the attic<br />

where only scraps of light remain<br />

among the carrier bags and fairground toys,<br />

I imagine planetoids of circling dust<br />

massed at the pull and push of her heat<br />

spun to her rays that burned through rock.<br />

We’d taken slates, slashed the roof,<br />

half-built a cantilevered frame. Sunlight’s<br />

now irony, recolouring snapshots,<br />

the astrolabe, backgammon pieces<br />

stained with nail-varnish, unread Spenser,<br />

Tarot cards, a dress faded as a burnt moth.<br />

This press of objects and heavy time<br />

that stoked desire, maps emptiness.<br />

Our prismed vision bent all light.<br />

Now memory’s fantastic as her heron ghost,<br />

a tawdry gaze dazzled by fireworks,<br />

startling and sparking and here and gone<br />

whilst nothing happens on the ground.<br />

The secrets I searched for lie here<br />

in plain view. The sky’s not blue.<br />

There is no sky. The stars long ran<br />

from where we put them.<br />

The fires of Venus, ice of Mars, steel clouds of Jupiter<br />

and Saturn’s ring of knives are tricks I’ve played<br />

to hide my accidental birth.<br />

My mother left me staring at the sun.<br />

My father stuffed night in his pillow.<br />

And when a silver bird stooped to me from her sky<br />

that was no syzygy but a casual touch<br />

swapping moments of loneliness,<br />

children’s marbles spinning in a hole.

Aromatic Kitchen<br />

Penny Sharman<br />

Mother goose, white lady has turned up the heat in this room,<br />

so keep your shades on or the fire will sweep you off the floor.<br />

There are three heads of garlic placed at intervals on the circle,<br />

backwards writing, spoons, knives, a bowl of water a rolling pin,<br />

and someone’s pointing the finger or waving a wand. It’s a fairy dance,<br />

a ballet of silk satin shoes, transcendence around the Comal. There’s always<br />

some meaning in how you were birthed, your blood, flesh and bone, like a<br />

stew, a fine dining of you, the preparation of the hearth, hub of creation,<br />

the feast of you, the cabbage, carrot, aubergine, corn peppers, the chillies<br />

the vessel of you. You must resist the temptation to taste the banquet<br />

in the fiery kitchen, Mother goose, white lady has turned up the heat in<br />

this room.

Unpickling<br />

Nicky Phillips<br />

Unscrew the lid of the Kilner jar,<br />

its rings as clearly marked<br />

as worry lines on a forehead;<br />

remove the vacuum seal,<br />

tight as a childhood hug from<br />

underneath the eiderdown;<br />

tip away the brine, watch it cough<br />

and splutter, the way dregs<br />

of wine chug down a plughole;<br />

spy traces of salt and vinegar, sharp<br />

as the slap of a North Sea wind,<br />

chill water lapping around pale toes;<br />

unlayer sprigs of dill, garlic cloves<br />

like orphans washed up on a beach,<br />

peppercorns hard-skinned as bad landlords.<br />

Finally, shake out the chunks,<br />

restore, make whole once more,<br />

smooth away the scars.

Sadaqah<br />

Sheikha A.<br />

Saturn will exit my house in a few<br />

months – astrology has warned me of<br />

thefts. There is a loose strand of<br />

cobweb dangling to the voice of<br />

the singing nun on low television. It has<br />

taken eight years and that many sages<br />

to discern the wrong with me. I wear<br />

grey blankets on cool summer nights –<br />

elegies on the border of the moon. What<br />

are your summers made up of? We offer<br />

lentils to the poor in my culture: gesture<br />

of transfer – jinxes streamed into the unawares.<br />

Plenty of sun to use of its shine. When you<br />

point to the map, I’ll be on the near side<br />

of the equator, dipping like the iceberg<br />

over the tropics. The winter has left red chillies<br />

scattered over a pair of cold feet – almost<br />

too soon, unprepared like the first season,<br />

concerned, divided – filling up space with<br />

the first words coming out of your mouth.<br />

*Sadaqah means offerings for charitable purposes, and in most instances to be rid of jinxes.

For Her<br />

Lesley Quayle<br />

She’s young and wears youth like an old coat<br />

buttoned up to hide the scars and bruises;<br />

undone by her own skin.<br />

She invited blood suckers to her bed<br />

split her heart for them, a rose-red sweetmeat<br />

to lick and suck.<br />

Never thought for even a moment<br />

they wouldn’t love her. How could they not?<br />

Such a sweet young thing.<br />

They said they did, over and over,<br />

their tongues in her mouth a conversation of love.<br />

Of course they did.<br />

All heart-warming stories,<br />

tasting of beer and tobacco, her drowning<br />

at the bottom of their sweating wells.<br />

Mammy said there was no other way,<br />

persuaded by the vigilant sisters,<br />

hooded, rank as lilies,<br />

in serried rows. She lay still,<br />

so still, for this never-to-be-celebrated birthday<br />

on the cold, unmarried slab<br />

and spilled her prize.<br />

She heard a cry.<br />

Small island of sound.

Redemptive Clause<br />

Michael Marrotti<br />

We go through<br />

this routine<br />

every couple<br />

of months<br />

Where vodka<br />

bottles explode<br />

felonies are close<br />

enough to touch<br />

and pictures of<br />

better times<br />

fall from the walls<br />

I like to think<br />

of the time<br />

spent away<br />

as a joyful<br />

vacation<br />

When the only time<br />

I show teeth<br />

is when I smile<br />

hands are used<br />

to warmly<br />

embrace others<br />

and the bottle<br />

of Xanax<br />

is forgotten<br />

Plus I’m saving<br />

money on Tylenol<br />

Until I attempt<br />

to rewrite history<br />

again and again<br />

like a lunatic<br />

on a redemptive<br />


By subjecting myself<br />

to the malice<br />

in Brookline<br />

by a woman I<br />

reluctantly call mom<br />

who’s out to destroy<br />

anything with a smile

Internal Conflict Resolution<br />

Michèle Alter Brenton<br />

They told me you were mine<br />

so I held you<br />

and gazing into the depths of you<br />

unlocked all there was of me.<br />

Connection achieved.<br />

You laughed<br />

and we called it<br />

living.<br />

I gave you everything<br />

and you called it love.<br />

Connection maintained.<br />

I had no manual<br />

to trouble shoot<br />

what happened next.<br />

I had no way to<br />

reboot what I lost.<br />

Connection terminated.<br />

I continue.<br />

I will always continue.<br />

I do not know<br />

how to do otherwise.<br />

Disconnected.<br />

They tell me this is mine<br />

so I hold it<br />

and gazing into the depths of it<br />

know parts of me can never be unlocked.<br />

Connection unstable/Working connection achieved.

Tailgaters<br />

Robert Nisbet<br />

Seen in my rear-view mirror, yelling joy,<br />

nearing the snake of a treacherous bend,<br />

two boys, nineteen or so, exuding youth’s diablo,<br />

the roaring Mazda celebrating road.<br />

Then, in accelerated rush, hey-hey old man,<br />

racing past to the next bend, to a morning<br />

crammed with imagined godhead of a kind,<br />

their tail receding to a nearing future.<br />

The inquest I read about. The faces<br />

pinched and sombre in poor newsprint.<br />

Reports of driving near the brink of sanity.<br />

The parents broken, an emptiness of everything.<br />

We can regret, bitterly, the loss of years<br />

and family and festival and occupation.<br />

They might have been, in time, seventy, staid,<br />

but with a locker full of things happened.<br />

But worst, their final seconds and the realising<br />

that the youth and brilliance were over,<br />

that they were going to die. <strong>May</strong>be,<br />

an inner howl for parents, place and home.

The Road to Domestos<br />

Barry Fentiman Hall<br />

Paul lands upon my shoulder<br />

His eyes as great and grey as moths<br />

He turns gravely slow<br />

To see that the door has closed behind him<br />

It clicks and he sits and gazes<br />

At the letters that I feed<br />

He marvels at the speed<br />

And tries to count them as they<br />

Flutter by to Sevenoaks<br />

Or some such<br />

We pass some time<br />

With nods and smiles<br />

And warmly offered words<br />

That trickle dry<br />

In the hot fast world beyond him<br />

Soft he sets off with little sighs<br />

To push his bin<br />

And wipe some tiles<br />

He wasn't always this way, they say<br />

The boy that was born<br />

Got lost in the fog one day<br />

On the road to Domestos<br />

His changeling face a poster child<br />

Asking for Information<br />

That may bring him back<br />

We found him once in a quiet place<br />

Spinning a cocoon<br />

Till the doctor came<br />

To stroke his wings and sing to him<br />

It happens now and then<br />

They say

For writer biographies / web links, please see the<br />

‘Contributors’ page on our website.<br />

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