Ian C. Smith
Fishing from the disused bridge
under unseen stars and a V of ducks
pointing away from black storm clouds
our seven yr.-old hooks an eel
this big guy making an S of himself.
The older brothers knew to haul
hand over hand, not using the reel
because his rod bent into a U.
Hoons have crashed through barriers
blocking the bridge, its pylons rotten
below river level where eels lurk
in the belief their watery work
could never lure them to their death.
Some big guys are born to be warriors.
-previously published in Poor Mojo's Poetry
Gone, with the Wind
Like the wind we find a way
past prised planks. It pierces gaps
in the copper roof left by thieves.
The patin a of verdigris was our landmark
the colour of a lime milkshake.
Broken glass stains the aisle, soaked and still
all these years after that day’s excess.
Puffed-up pigeons gossip in the groins.
Before the altar the massive organ
has been overturned in a puddle.
They war, enemies without and within.
They conceive, are bereaved, never cede
victory despite the constant counting.
Sex is one bare luxury, extra rations
on a Saturday night after standing
in the double-decker to The Gaumont
to see Margaret Mitchell’s lurid fable.
‘Frankly, I don’t give a damn’
seems a throw away line to savour
passing the air-raid siren, Dad as Clark Gable.
-previously published at Kipple
We stripped, exposed, wet white flesh.
The primitive sea littered full plates
dribbled tasty through my beard
salt & pepper, glistening
Neptune randy eyeing the ripe moon’s
glitter on water, its allure
like your succulence.
Later, wave-riders of satiation
we lolled abed, spilt, drained
listening to the ocean’s pull & suck.
I thought of fathoms-deep creatures
their primaeval urges, like those crayfish
before we shucked, violated them
pleasured our tongues, licked them raw.
Burn-off fires smoulder, a war zone scene
where he parks above the hazy harbour.
The door blows open when he releases it
like a terrified creature escaping.
He climbs out stiffly with the album
reviewing his daughter’s visit, things said.
A song from the C.D. echoes in his mind
..lying down on a cold black table..
An echidna waddles away from him
burrows urgently, spines quivering.
He sits with his thoughts in smoky sea air.
She had tapped her fingers, watching him.
You turn away from the living.
Emotion and memory drain him
the faded pages he begins to turn, clues.
We were a family, once. You were our hero.
His daughter twice said, guilt trip
and, she adored you, three times
masking her accusations with smiles.
He peers closely, sniffing the past
the scents of youth filled with light
a time as unreachable as the horizon.
The echidna has almost buried itself
but its spines are still exposed.
-both poems previously published at Full of Crow Poetry