A selection of poems from HQ issue 25, by Gary Bills, Elizabeth Kay, Andrew Mayne, Rupert M Loydell, Alexis Lykiard, Zivko Prodanovic, A Alvarez
This issue also includes poems by Peter Dent, Michael Paul Hogan, Kate Kavanagh, Robert Morley and Anthony Keating, among others.
Copyright © 2001. Copyright remains with the authors.
Poems from next issue * previous issue * To index * Back to HQ.
The Ancient World
We have forgotten how to tune the lyre,
To place distinctive notes by Homer's stresses.
No one allows for brief expressive silence,
The wood smoke drifting past with fated heroes.
We shall not find such old, unwritten music,
The pulse of a hall, the resonance of gold.
All smashed to glitters in Alexander's lands,
Those wine cups, petal-frail, and rose and amber,
Which caught new flames, and buzzed in perfumed hands.
Worcester Park, Surrey
Summer in Tibet;
A brief respite. The cattle
Stand around and yak.
Is near. In the soup, turtles
Need their leatherback.
A wintry beach, decked
With walruses. On the sand,
The rain writes in Morse.
In the Camargue, spring
Clouds gallop across the sky.
The windís voice is hoarse.
Orbiting the sun,
Our planet has been seasoned
With trim Arctic terns.
Having read the manual
he twiddled with her body
in an attempt to adjust her
to the higher frequencies
of passionate response.
Rupert M Loydell
On the Horizon
The stranger has left, leaving the door open,
changing our notion of what is beautiful.
I see him still, absent without leave
in the middle of a heat wave; the very room.
My life is as difficult to structure
as a caress or a handclasp, a lingering kiss.
I hunger for a taste still to be created,
The great blessings time can confer.
Greeting a Birthday
My son's eighteen. Not seen him in eight years.
Effectively excluded from his growing up,
I've had to swallow quite a bitter cup -
though others might taste worse - of angry tears.
Still with strange adult boy, to my regret
I cannot stay in touch, far less communicate,
nor yet expose a mother filled with hate
who's mad, sad, richly devious to know,
willing to lie and to manipulate.
Eighteen means none should now control him so:
till time's illusive fullness I must wait
for him to seek the truth behind the show.
Reflection in water.
I am defending myself
with a smile.
In the dream you were leaning forward,
In a gauzy top with a rose,
Your breasts hanging clear of the fabric,
A fresh-minted Eve in her garden,
Raw colour among the foliage,
Forked lightning against starlight,
Jolting me awake.
Leaning forward as if to say,
What more do you want? Come on,
There's nothing to get in the way
Of palm and sweating palm,
Moist lip and inner lip,
Eyelash on delicate eyelash,
Breath mingling with breath
And not a hair's breadth between,
Nothing between us but shadows,
A few shreds of gossamer,
A tattered woven rose.
I woke to the thud of my heart,
Tangled hair and tangled sheets,
Tick of the bedside clock,
You muttering in your sleep
Something I couldn't make out.
Dear sleeper haunting my dreams,
Was it me you were talking to?
We might as well be one
Person tricked out as two
'Til death us do part. Dream on,
Just turn my way while you sleep,
World without end. Amen.
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This page last updated 9th April 2006