Pulsar Poetry Webzine
       Pulsar Poetry Webzine

Poems 2019 - most recent poems at the top.

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September 2019 (92 editions in total)

 

40th edition as a webzine, see below.

 

Poets listed in surname alphabetical order

 

* * *

 

Poem Index

 

George Street South, SP2 7BQ - Will Daunt.

 

Bourn Bridge, CB21 6AN - Will Daunt.

 

Underground - E A M Harris.

 

Speechless - John Miller.

 

An Invitation to Your Wedding - Lynne Munn.

 

The Mohawk - George Cassidy Payne.

 

Warning Device - David Pike.

 

Final Phase - John Short.

 

*

 

George Street South

SP2 7BQ

 

We got off slightly, our road a footnote

beyond the city’s bandage, twenty-five

years after Meadow and George Street went

under the knife - two lags left limp for dotage.

Hardly Berlin - but the hacking asphalt

bustled and flickered through our first three years -

Churchill’s Way, perhaps. Before leaving, one

wayward trip wheeled us up on the city

side, and our terrace’s score of siblings.

Who lived there then, and knew the other street?

 

Will Daunt

Ormskirk

 

*

 

Bourn Bridge

CB21 6AN

 

The science park is barred and filmed and partitions

shape those fields we’d cross. Here’s rugby

country and there are some chirpy Baltic

women, bent over veg.,

organically.

Permissive paths have occupied the wood

and the World Famous Cafe puts up a bund

of cemented wire across the gap once

called a Welcome, while the listed half-baked

shack next door is swallowed by a bury-

built school for kids who pay to learn by trees.

 

Will Daunt

 

*

 

Underground

 

the men of the mine, swarthy and smiling;

the pick handed down from great-great-grandpère;

an eye that understands the ore;

tock, tock, tock of pick on rock;

water, cold and fusty;

dust;

air;

pale insects scurry from a lantern;

tick, tick, tick of hammer;

the smell of bat droppings;

tock, tock, tock from far ahead;

cold sweat;

scratched boots;

the perfume of wet ore;

the perfume of its value;

tick, tick, tick – drips in the distance;

incline of the roof;

roughness underfoot;

rough timbers;

lamplight knocking on darkness;

tock, tock, tock of someone’s watch.

 

E A M Harris

Bridgwater, Somerset

 

*

 

Speechless

 

Father, we had no consecrated ointment,

no rites for the observance of your death.

When you were grimacing with pain

as your life ebbed, we—your family—uttered

no consolatory prayers, could think

of nothing that would help any of us.

We didn’t prop your head with cushions

to encourage last words

 

though I had precedents enough

in literature for memorable deaths.

We knew Goethe’s last request—

more light, more light

and what friends did for Franz Schubert,

hushing his cries with pious ministrations,

soothing him with scripture.

 

Should we have known some benediction

 to recite when the last feeding tube,

the last polygraph was being unplugged

from what had been your life support?

Only my younger sister thought to croon

your boyhood nickname in Hungarian,

stroking your damp forehead, while I stood

stricken speechless and numb, father,

not even reaching for your hand.

 

Here, now, with these words

is it really better late than never?

 

John Miller

Lexington, Virginia, USA

 

*

 

An Invitation to Your Wedding

 

I will be shrieking round suburbia,

Hoping it is not too late

And you will hear.

 

Race up and down each quiet road,

Startling all the sleepers

And the moribund.

 

Howl, howl round trees provoking

Cushioned cats to sir and stretch,

Dimly remembering.

 

But if, like leaf fall in October,

My cries too shall be unheard,

Sadly then, I leave you to your sepulchre.

 

Lynne Munn

London, NW

 

*

 

The Mohawk

 

My world is concealed

under the Mohawk’s

waters, way beneath the

cries of geese in flight and

rockslide scars of slippery,

olive skinned hemlocks

smeared in October’s maple,

blood- red moss, rushing

past my descendant’s statues.

 

George Cassidy Payne

Rochester, NY, USA

 

*

 

Warning Device

 

Festering in a corner

the affronted, wounded

offended

member for January to December

was about to explode, pondered a bit

then did

off blew the lid

showering remnants of life

clothes, former abode

and other indiscernible

bits

to various areas of the world

where they lay as unrecognisable fragments,

not part of the whole

picture thing.

 

Nearby a monkey on a bicycle

pushed a bell, a warning device

that sounded

with a ring.

 

David Pike

Swindon, Wiltshire

From: The Strand, poetry book by David Pike, published 2012

 

*

 

Final Phase

 

They are giraffe-tall

and allergic to silence,

have never heard 

of multiplication tables,

 

they stand aside 

as I pass - say Sorry.

A visual reminder

of teachers perhaps?

 

I might as well sport

bargain basement shoes,

a beige windjammer

then realize I can play

 

the part without props:

this lined exterior

declares to everyone

I'm in the final phase

 

John Short

Lydiate, Liverpool

 

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* * *

 

June 2019 (91 editions in total)

 

39th edition as a webzine, see below.

 

Poets listed in surname alphabetical order

 

* * *

 

Poem Index

 

Grove Seasons - Richard Dinges, Jr.

 

Uncle David - Michael Jennings.

 

The old man in the cage - Sean Lause

 

A Gift in Winter - Lynne Munn

 

Divorce - Lynne Munn

 

The Gogs - David Pike

 

Unusual and Dangerous - John D. Robinson

 

*

 

Grove Seasons

 

Tree leaves packed dense

filter sunlight,

my eyes dilated

in shadows.  Leaves

fail, shed into

brittle piles that mark

my steps with bitter

cackles, reveal

branches, dark frames

between stained glass

panes of pale sky.

Snow piles over

limbs, reflect sun

to blind me in

a gentle spray

of crystals.  Dark buds

erupt into green

shade, block sunlight

again and I cool

into a damp earthen

 

Richard Dinges, Jr.

Walton, NE, USA

 

*

 

Uncle David

 

When uncle David came the chances were

he’d brought something to be altered –

a shirt collar needing to be turned,

a pair of trouser shortened.

He sat in our living room,

drank a cup of tea and chatted

in his deep easy-going voice,

swapping family news and other matters

while mouther worked the treadle

and the Singer clicked and clattered.

With the alteration snipped free of the machine

he’d be off on the bike he’d left against the wall.

This was poverty that didn’t bite too deep:

it clothed us in a dignity that no one knew they wore.

 

Michael Jennings

Keyworth, Nottinghamshire

 

*

 

The old man in the cage

   

It is Sunday.  The old man in the cage
is wheeled through the town again.
His lips tremble with violations.
There must have been a time when he was young.

 

He signatures the wind with words
they cannot decipher.  He is no one.
Though some say he knows when time will end.
His face is a map of sins and visions.

 

The citizens baptize their cars, their souls
as white as the illusion of innocence.
They toss him mirrors and laughter.
He shows them rage and the seat of his pants.

 

He is the sum of all their ages,
guilty of a crime he can’t remember.
At sunset they return him to his cave
where he’ll remain ‘till they need him again
to preen their jaded dream of being gods.

 

Sean Lause

Bluffton, Ohio, USA

 

*

 

A Gift in Winter

 

Solitary, creamy-yellow, full blown rose,

There is surely a lapse in your memory

To make you bloom like this in January.

Flaunting your delicate beauty through days

Dank and drear with flutterings of snow,

When you should have rusted and died

Like your kindred, long, long ago.

Each fragrant petal fully open

Blows undefiled by winter’s thrust,

Beauty so brave, so flawless,

Amazes eyes grown used to dreariness,

Uplifts the spirit driven low by sunless

Days, and revives a sinking trust in nature,

The magical and eternal conjuror.

 

Lynne Munn

London, NW

 

*

 

Divorce

 

When the last leaves of autumn

Snatched by wilful wind,

Lie like shredded sunset

On the grass,

Will they remember spring

Before they pass,

Under footprint and snow

Into the crust of earth?

 

When all my future days

From yours are severed,

Finally and forever,

Will they remember spring

As documents are passed

From hand to legal hand,

And when our case is closed

What then? Will we shrivel?

 

Lynne Munn

 

*

 

The Gogs

 

A sickly-sweet odour of cutting oil

filtered through a hedgerow

oozing from an overflow

that bordered a workshop

of industrial noise;

it was a cloying smell

that lingered in the nostrils

of a small boy

crouched on a muddy track

peering intently into a shallow

backwater stream

that meandered betwixt, between

and down past The Lamb.

 

A small jam-jar

rested on the ground

filled with aquatic fauna

and a dazzle of bright water,

liquid that deflected light

Schlieren style

as flickering rays

filtered through an array of trees.

 

Two sticklebacks swam

in the close confines

of the ex-jam jar,

magnificent creatures,

silver, red, with a touch of

gold.

The boy looked for another,

where small fishes swim,

totally enthralled, taking it in,

relaxed in his skin. . .

 

before becoming old.

 

David Pike

Swindon, Wiltshire

 

*

 

 

Unusual and Dangerous

I didn’t know what I
was looking for
and I began
looking in some of
the most unusual
and dangerous of
places and people:
high life
low life
no life:
I searched
all over,
found nothing

that meant
anything:
I grabbed a pen
and started
scribbling, not
knowing what
else to do.

 

John D. Robinson

Hastings, East Sussex

 

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* * *

 

March 2019 (90 editions in total)

 

38th edition as a webzine, see below.

 

Poets listed in surname alphabetical order.  

 

* * *

 

Poem Index

 

Dictate – Gary Beck

 

Vermin – Holly Day

 

Old Crocker – Michael Jennings

 

American Beauty – George Cassidy Payne

 

Low Rider – David Pike

 

Roughing It – Fabrice B Poussin

 

Foundry – John Timothy Robinson

 

Cottage Song – Roger Singer

 

Unskilled – Ian C. Smith

 

*

 

Dictate

 

Statistically speaking

most humans

prefer to be told

rather than asked

to do this or that

at the behest of someone

rarely concerned

with the needs of the people.

 

Gary Beck

New York, USA

 

*

 

Vermin

 

I’m sorry

I think to the cockroaches that squish under my boots

as I walk home along the roaring breakers of ocean surf

on a thin strip of sidewalk crumbling slowly to sand. In the darker shadows

cat-sized rats scurry over concrete pilings, carrying greasy chip bags

hamburger wrappers and bits of rotting fruit in their mouths

claiming the fetid remains of the day for a midnight feast.

Years before, these rats and roaches would have been in hiding

in the ramshackle brick houses and empty warehouse spaces that used

to line this part of town, but now that all those old buildings are gone

and the new buildings, mostly condos, are too brightly lit for vermin

the rats and the roaches have all come down to the beach. The new condo owners

might have chased away the junkies and the whores

and the homeless drunks with their overflowing shopping carts

but the rats and the roaches are here to stay.

 

Holly Day

Minneapolis MN

 

*

 

Old Crocker

 

Old Crocker brought us coal.

His blackened, scary face

had bulging bloodshot eyes

which stared below a greasy cap.

From lorry to his leather-aproned back

he heaved each sack and humped it

down the concrete path

in battered blakey-studded boots,

which as he thudded through,

struck sparks,

until the thunder of black fuel

tumbling in the bunker.

Such was the fearsome ogre

who brought us warmth in winter.

 

Michael Jennings

Keyworth, Nottinghamshire

 

*

 

American Beauty

 

Is mermaid legs of

silk noodles and storm

trooper boots. It’s pant

less. A hemmed blouse

of Amazonian orchids.

Tattooed neck. Marine

haircut. A chair made

of wolf pelts. Dressed as

a lemon meringue pie.

Drinking mushroom

tea and giggling at stars.

 

George Cassidy Payne

Rochester, NY, USA

 

*

 

Low Rider

 

Opt me out

of anything spontaneous, spectacular

or rash,

but don’t let me stop you

having a bash

on the scariest rides

that thrill making engineers

design and provide

for fun seeking fun seekers -

 

persons who enjoy a thrill

to show they’re alive

though nearly being killed,

and queue for the privilege.

 

It’s their bag you see

to be at the peak of anxiety

screaming out loud –

but leave me out,

I’ll be taking a step back

to realign my inner self,

addressing a wealth

of calm idiosyncrasies.

 

David Pike,

Swindon, Wiltshire

 

*

 

Roughing It

 

A rough dress forgotten, designed for a lady, worn by 

a mother who never took much to the traits of stars.

 

Modelling hands of ruby nails and soft lotions, bare

no likeness to the digits crevassed by cold and rain.

 

Mouths needed feeding, food to be planted

and dirt soiled the folds of a skin still trying to be young.

 

No time for jolly waltzes in the dusty, musky ballroom

only a moment to turn from oven to table at work.

 

Eyelashes faded, braids unravelled with the passing days

the make-up hardened to become cement in a tight jar.

 

When death came at last beauty was allowed anew

she lay still rosy cheeks, peaceful under deep foundation.

 

The little girl had dreamed of a cover glamour shot

success indeed; that it is the last memory of her.

 

Fabrice B Poussin

Rome, Italy

 

*

 

Foundry

 

When I first saw the place one summer

it looked like someone dropped a bomb.

Through a chain-link fence

sheet metal siding charred black as coal

hung on steel girders.

From the car window

you could only look through one end

where furnace number nine made silicon.

When they tapped, a fiery glow exploded,

split darkness in a shower of volcanic light.

 

Waiting in the gravel parking lot

after dad’s shift,

the car was an oven of three o’clock heat.

They walked from the small building

covered in black steel-dust

like old photographs of miners.

Covered with fine filings,

this dust that resembled glitter

inside through a shaft of light,

you cleaned from your nose an hour after shift.

Black snot.  Black spit.

Steel was in their blood.

Fifty years, my father worked

through changing names, collective bargaining,

a strike, an employee buy-out.

 

Lines on his face and in his hands

were other stories.

He drove almost an hour every day to work.

one direction,

strung electrical wire,

checked switches, relays, transistors.

 

Sunflower seeds and cigarette buts on the plunging station floor.

Mess hall cuss and days of jokes.

Once in a while someone brought food.

Talk of mortgages, political snares.

One summer on furnace number two,

Miller looked at me and said,

“Welcome to Hell.”

Everybody just wanted a better life.

 

Many years later

one of them was pulled over;

a rumor of cocaine in his trunk.

Prison.

After all this time,

here and there they fall,

felled by life;

alcohol, heart disease and cancer.

 

John Timothy Robinson

Gallipolis Ferry, WV, USA

 

*

 

Cottage Song

 

I remember shadows

and the long arms of strength.

 

I see smiles and pain

seasons passing.

Voices over a river

one I’m familiar with -

 

thoughts provide a healing,

of scars no longer visible.

 

I recall the aroma of lilacs

in the morning,

dew covering canvas awnings

and red wing blackbirds

heading to the tidal basin.

 

Roger Singer

Old Lyme, Connecticut, USA

 

*

 

Unskilled

 

I have an apartment lease to offload, need a foxhole

after another upheaval in the hum of these days,

discovery, escape, possibility, blood fizzing.

I recognise the canny suit who responds to my ad,

taking me back to the cages of earlier restless times.

 

He was my boss when I quit, storming out offended

by tactless remarks criticising a distressing call,

a medical emergency halting sweaty work.

No phones in pockets.  Work scarce.  Bosses ruled.

I had vowed to find another job before day’s end.

 

He remembers me, an emotional boy-father

of an injured child, who showed up the next morning.

Smug, compassionate, I couldn’t tell back then,

he assumed I would retract my notice, was shocked

I landed a job that day I told him where to stick his.

 

He wants the apartment for his student daughter.

I mention my language studies, enjoy his surprise again,

omit shameful wreckage bobbing in life’s wake,

the married girlfriend, cheap drama like a bad movie.

We all want our hazardous lives to turn out magical.  

 

Ian C Smith

Sale, Vic, 3850, Australia

 

*

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