HQ Poetry Magazine

A selection of poems from HQ issue 23/24, by Franko Busic, Penelope Anne Dalgleish, Sandra Goldbeck-Wood, Crispy Birbal Jain, Herbert Woodward Martin, Penelope Shuttle, Leslie Vassallo

This issue also includes poems by Brian Patten, Peter Redgrove, Michael Paul Hogan, Don Rogers, Don Ammons, and Richard Bonfield, among others.

Copyright 2000. Copyright remains with the authors.

Poems from next issueprevious issue * To index * Back to HQ.

Herbert Woodward Martin
Dayton, Ohio

Final W. (Rouault's Outline)
Our physician has charted your body in bold
Black abstract lines, the same as Rouault used
To radiate his figures and disturb the eyes
With common electricity. His art, less than
Therapeutic is transparent, ephemeral:
It will vanish with the touch of water.
Mascara will last longer, wear better under
The stress of human failure. What are we
To discover on the areas of your withered
Flesh where resiliency has taken leave?
A leathery grip tightens around your body
Like the myth that wrestled with snakes.
You are trapped in that moment; you are not
Fully cognisant of the present, nor realise
The stress of approaching futures. 

Leslie Vassallo
Malta, GC

Poems from 'Summer Album'


Behind the gate
a gathering of sunflowers -
who are they
waiting for?
The old woman who waters them,
the girl who dances around them,
or Van Gogh who created them? 


The old carob-tree
in disarray this morning
with hair-pins dangling
and spread all around her.


When she asked
what the roll contained
he answered:
'The sea...'

Even in a beach kiosk
you'll find a poet.

Penelope Anne Dalgleish
St. Andrews, Scotland


Quite soon you took me
For a ride on the motorbike's
High pillion seat.

You turned to face me
And said "Before I start driving,
I'll teach you how to bank."

And you taught me then
How to lean as you leant, sideways.
Listening, I was thrilled.

And so we set off
And I watched your back carefully,
Leaning as you leant.

After a while, I
Didn't need to watch: my body
Moved with yours naturally.

Penelope Shuttle
Falmouth, Cornwall

Storm Advice

An unbidden storm stands
at a respectful distance,
just in ear-shot.

He offers advice:
there is no such thing as luck.
Put up your shutters.

Do not contemplate me,
or invite me, or follow my trail.
Exclude me.

I fling up the shutters,
his hand like a master adding urgency.
Even as he roars at roof and door,

he praises my defences. 

Sandra Goldbeck-Wood


Long after the leaves
have withered, turned and fallen
ochre fruit clings on

Deep into November
patina of noble rot
fingers the surface

While the early frost
injects the interior with
a strong, rich sweetness.

Do not drink it now,
but when the night is longer;
savour every drop.

Crispy Birbal Jain
New Delhi, India


Resting your head on my shoulder
with my arms wrapping you securely
- a sense of pride - a sense of joy -
a sense of victory - a sense of serenity
across your face, a long way from the
past; unaware of the future, protected
from the scorching sun by the bough
of a huge tree, dreaming, perhaps lost
in bliss, or like a baby, sound asleep.

Franko Busic
Split, Croatia

The winter darkness...
There, just for a moment
scent of the ocean.

The road does not end.
Thousands of restless souls
wander in the wind.

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This page last updated 7th December 2003