HQ Poetry Magazine

A selection of poems from HQ issue 38, by John KissaneBruce J JamesRowena Priestley, Diana WebbHelena Nelson and Sarah Lawson.

This issue also includes poems by Al Alvarez, Ian Caws, Peter Dent, John Sewell and D M Thomas, among others. 

Copyright 2010. Copyright remains with the authors.

Poems from previous issueTo index * Back to HQ.

John Kissane
Luton, Bedfordshire

The Chatterbox (A Riddle)

I often walked beside her half a mile,
Wandering through the fields, and all the while
She laughed and chattered, ran between the trees,
And leapfrogged every rock we met with ease,
And never spoke a single word of sense.
Until at last she ducked beneath a fence
And went her way, as I went mine, although
If I returned this very hour I know
She would be there all shining-eyed to go
Once more with me upon that self-same walk,
And not one word wiser in her talk.

(Solution: a stream)

Bruce J James
Stevenage, Hertfordshire

The Bridge

The bridge held the way above the water
kept two banks together. I'd stand looking down

at the white swirl beneath and fling my finished
cigarette into the depths; I'd lean on the thin

parapet and look along the river to see boats
tied up or moving away from me or towards me

as they chugged from one town to another. I'd
never been on a boat at all except when very

young on a ferry and remember the gushing
noise the water made; but today I thought of Jill

as I often did when I came here, who to quick
winters ago, stood up and jumped off into the icy flow;

it made me think of how the river never ceases to run,
but if it didn't, how we'd all jump too, asserting our faith.


Rowena Priestley
Surrey, British Columbia, Canada

 Sky Blue Canoe

Now the sea
is blazing white
and there is just
one sky-blue canoe

sculling, sculling, sculling

& a bit of backbiting backwash

the tiniest nipping wind
prelude to changing weather

I can floar
in my sky-blue canoe
down to Camelot

with all the traditions
& tapestries of
flying fish and rooks

skimming beneath me
reflecting the sky
& the boat
& the myth of myself


Diana Webb
Leatherhead, Surrey

Two Haiku

shadowed earth -
sunlight stretches out
on the dozing pig

summer evening -
walking the trail
of an old dog's breath


Helena Nelson
Glenrothes, Scotland

Lily's Lover 

I had a flower. Her name was Lily
until she fell for Sticky Willie.
He found her in the garden ground
and wrapped himself around and round
and round her stem and head until he
strangled her. No pain felt she.
I am quite sure she felt no pain
but both in sunshine and in rain
I waged unending pointless war
on Willie, grabbing him before
he rampages and kills again.


Sarah Lawson

Wind Graffiti

Wind makes graffiti
among the fallen beech leaves,
then rewrites it all.

The wind's second thoughts
happen too fast to take in -
what was that again?

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This page last updated 13th November 2010