A selection of poems from HQ issue 35/36, by Peter Dent, Philip Gross, Aspandyad F Daruvala, Linda Saunders, Ann Vaughan-Williams and W D Jackson.
This issue also includes poems by D M Thomas, Ian Caws, Tom Vaughan, James Kirkup, Don Ammons and Francis Attard, among others.
Copyright © 2009, 2010. Copyright remains with the authors.
Poems from previous issue * next issue * To index * Back to HQ.
Budleigh Salterton, Devon
Staring staring the message as ever's
Past its best but it still won't believe it
As I shake my head at the question so
Memory makes its usual dramatic leap
Over barriers the future senseless and
Awaiting trial what use if an action's
Taken in response to a letter never sent?
Alone I gaze on my deserts and despair
It tightens in the air around them,
round the little house, two up, two down
three breathngs, father, mother, child
never smaller than now, in the fist
of big weather, a darkening
that flicks in the air between them,
in the corner (don't look) of the eye
(don't turn). It's a shudder of wings
that may pass over, may
pass. When the father, at the centre
of the silence, thinks he might take
this cup, himself, away from them, upstairs,
the isobars only steepen, like the years
they wish and fear, and wish,
the storm would break.
Aspandyad F Daruvala
Palms in obeisance
bowing to the river god -
boats go floating by
Sitting in the shop
with no customers to serve -
simply swatting flies
Eyes to the ground, missing the birds,
I did the whole walk again. Found a sleeve
of sky in the well of a hoof-mark;
a beetle's green jewel, a baby's glove.
Recovered exactly the spot
where you no longer stood
to fulminate against Himalayan balsam
colonising the river-bank's mud.
Though it's bonny, you granted,
your quizzical Yorkshre vowels
absorbed into silence now
below the hump-backs of the fells.
I am ready for any reappearance.
Can believe there are folds
in time which may yet give back
whatever it was I mislaid.
But I know recovery is
in this lightening, of a self remade
by lack. A loosening winds.
This giving it away,
Earthed - for the final departure for London
What can I take? My poor books
are to be clamped and nailed in crates.
The dolls' mopes are smothered in tissue.
Photos have captured a new dress
the end of being home-stitched,
I comb the garden,
scoop a handful of soil.
Tip it into an empty lozenge tin
with blue and gold lettering:
'MADE FROM FRESH RIPE FRUIT'.
To be transported in the ship's hold.
For added safety I put it
inside a larger lozenge tin.
Slide both into a buff office envelope
W D Jackson
from Joves New World
Acrisius, Danae's father, should have begged
Great Jove for mercy, rather than have locked
His only daughter - moon-pale, blonde, long-legged -
In a tower of brass. But God is not mocked.
So, rising to the challenge, macho Jove,
Ejaculating sun-light, showered like gold,
Or like a fountain, into his dry love:
Oh, he was more than she could hope to hold!
She'd never want another after that.
Their son would lop Medusa's snake-haired head,
And save Andromeda. Jove's lust begat
Blessings on all predestined to enjoy him.
The wimp her father, though, deserved to be dead;
Who better than his grandson to destroy him?
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This page last updated 1st August 2010