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Pulsar Poetry Webzine - Poems 2024


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June 2024 (111 editions in total)


59th edition as a webzine


Poems listed in surname alphabetical order


To view Pulsar Poems from earlier years, refer to Home Page, for listings




Poem Index - June 2024


A Small Town in November, poem by Liam Aungier


We Should Be in Miami, poem by Salvatore Difalco.


Lunch Break, poem by Richard Dinges, Jr.


Driving the old Afghan Trail, poem by John Grey.


A Short Visit to Your Childhood Home, poem by John Grey.


Maybe It's Because I'm a Londoner, poem by Maëlle Leggiadro.


Now Damaged, poem by David Pike.


The Evening News, poem by Brett Reid.


Untitled, poem by Mykyta Ryzhykh 


Blitz Years , poem by John Short. 




A Small Town in November


The rain blows in your face

And you don't care.


Your back to the harbour,

You are walking along the beach,


Shoes sinking into the rain-wet sand.

Late autumn and the sky

Is a symphony in grey.


The holiday makers

In tee-shirts and fake tans


And their rumbustious kids

Have all returned to their lives.


A padlock rusts on the gate

Of the rickety fun-fair.


And you are content.

Your town is itself again:

Sullen, introspective,


It's cobbled alleys 

Rained on; it's river


Restless in it's bed, gurgles

Under a concrete bridge.


The "Imperial Hotel" 

Lies under a cloud, and nothing


Is finer now than this rain

Falling on a small town in November.


Liam Aungier

Co. Kildare, Ireland




We Should Be In Miami


 My thumbnail, purpled by hammer,

is doomed this winter morning.

The sunshine deceives, the air

out here will seize-up your nose.


Sitting on chairs of snow, we know

we are far away from Miami,

its chameleons and monarchs,

burnt orange dusks and blow.


We sit nodding, snug as grubs,

on a Sunday in mid-January,

smoking the air, or slapping

our thermal mittens together.


Give thanks to life, for giving us

this moment, frozen in time

as it were, but we aren’t talking.

We are thinking of Miami.


But aren’t you glad we’re alive?

It could be otherwise:

black-curtained windows,

a Clydesdale-drawn hearse.


My thumbnail aches 

in its thumb-sleeve tomb.

Alas, I have never claimed 

to be a fucking handyman.


We are sitting out here in ten

below zero centigrade, so

pissed off we can’t express

our peeves, our deepest bones.


We should be in Miami

bronzing on the beach or

drinking Margaritas from a fish tank

and singing Jimmy Buffet tunes off-key. 


Salvatore Difalco

Toronto, Canada




Lunch Break


Throttled by shopping

mall words and

spattered by spit

from a flap of lips,

then scarred by a set

of sharp white teeth

camouflaged as a smile,

I sit on a bench

to rest my feet,

close my eyes,

listen to stories

entangled in a slow

drift, a click of heels,

a shuffle of soft soles,

I doze my hour

on a hard slab of wood

and then awaken to

my own story

still half-told.


Richard Dinges, Jr.

Walton, NE, USA




Driving the Old Afghan Trail


On a flat stretch

of nothing but red dirt

and occasional spinifex,


where the distance

is taken up

with rock formations

and the occasional watery mirage,


the near –

in fact the road ahead –

is clogged with four wild camels.


Despite much honking and shooing,

those creatures refuse to budge.


One even looks in our direction,

lowers its bottom lip

in a kind of comical sneer.


The Australian outback

has its eccentricities.


Even the easiest of going

is not guaranteed to go on forever.


Stubbornness can set down

just about anywhere.


John Grey

Johnston, RI


(formerly from Australia)




 A Short Visit to Your Childhood Home


The bed seemed out of place,

like it didn’t belong in the room you slept in.


But maybe it was the room that was out of place:

the pennants, the posters, the yearbooks,

the two-shelf bookcase stacked with fairy tales.


Most likely, you were out of place:

your body three inches longer than the mattress,

your arms hanging over the side.


You were glad to reach the airport early,

The plane couldn’t come soon enough.


You longed to spread out,

to reconnect with your life now.


On the flight home,

you were squeezed into a middle seat.


John Grey




Maybe It’s Because I’m a Londoner


London rushes me outside

I get carried away by goals

That were never mine

Every minute is precious

I got accustomed to holding my breath

And forgetting to look up

I watch the shadows in the street

When walking home at night

I have double-booked weekends

And buy tickets for unnecessary events

I get flowers delivered to my door

And count my blessings before bed

I believe in signs but I don’t have time

To stop and seek any of them

We earn just enough to cover the rent

It costs five pounds to leave the house

And we speak of flying somewhere South

When we don’t even bother

Seeing our friend who lives across the river

London is railways, beeping sounds,

“Unmissable” plays in the West End district

Where no one can afford to go

Fake eye-lashes, the secret services, café neros

The greatest show of the year

And angels weeping on churches’ doors

It’s the most beautiful and painful city to live in

And every Londoner feels a twinge of pride

In calling it home.


Maëlle Leggiadro





Now Damaged


‘There’s no easy way to approach this,’ he said, kicking the door of the garden shed off its hinges.  All-in- all his reaction was poor and didn’t take prisoners.  If it didn’t work or fit after cajoling and shoving it for a bit, then he’d explode in a comedy of violence and expletives. “Patience is a virtue,” some unremembered guru once said whilst waiting at a bus stop for a bus that never arrived.  So, our person, (we’ll call him a person), would let rip, feel the better for it and then contrive to put the door back where it had hung before, albeit now structurally unsound, damaged and a poor fit.


Perhaps that’s the answer, kick the door before it kicks you, then make a run for it.


David Pike

Camelford, Cornwall


From DP’s new book of poems, Avoiding Potholes, release date late 2024.




The Evening News


With no clear intent

I took a slice of slate

from the beach at Baltray.

Fast forward a year, I hold the slate

not to my ear but pressed tight

against a pane of winter’s blear light.

In a split second I’m thrown

by the silhouette

to a lounge floor in 1967,

where I watch up close

Sir Donald Campbell’s boat.

Nose almost touching the grey screen

I see a man for all his life’s worth

living a boy’s dreams

of speed and engines,

in a race to be the fastest in the world

before the last of that day becomes night.

Then it flashes white.


Brett Reid

Auckland, New Zealand






We slept with you in the crack of a cut hand
Not a single air bothered us with its presence
All clouds and trees were covered with a veil of nakedness
The weapon itself also hid in the anal slits, apparently there it belongs

Finally you raised your finger up and I realized that I was dreaming
I wake up in the silence of the graveyard hidden under the bed
I wake up I sleep I fall asleep I invent your finger
Thrice tied to the lord I come up with a finger
I teach my brain to live again.


Mykyta Ryzhykh

Tromsø, Norway

(Formerly from Ukraine)




Blitz Years


She used to tell me often

of the war, only twelve

and that nightly blitz,

how they’d scramble inside

an Anderson shelter

submerged at the garden’s edge

all except her brother,

nonchalant in bed

snoring while bombs fell

on the Websters just nearby.


Dad had his stories too:

some old bloke down their way

who landed intact, unscathed

in the middle of the street.

That one never quite convinced

but it’s true he was evacuated

to Holywell, north Wales

where he learned the language,

scraps of it at least, rolled

out at family parties to impress.


John Short

Lydiate, Merseyside


Click LinkReturn to Home Page




March 2024 (110 editions in total)


58th edition as a webzine


Poems listed in surname alphabetical order


To view Pulsar Poems from earlier years, refer to Home Page, for listings




Poem Index - March 2024


Glitch, Nikos Chrysikopoulos.


Above the Wispering Pines, Joanne Holdridge.


More or Less, David Pike.


I Teach Adult Eduction Classes - Brandon Robshaw.


Fools Aftermath, Gordon Scapens.


No Rain, Daniel P. Stokes.


Feigining Sleep, Daniel P. Stokes.


Fissure, Peter Venable.


Claws, Thomas Zimmerman.






in this critical moment

when you expect me to explain


my thoughts are too fluid

to find words to step on


and the words are too jagged

for my few baked thoughts to rest on


the fan of my brain starts and stops

gasps of breath not transmuted into words

the fear extending its half rime on my palate


between honesty and self-preservation

the algorithm of my brain breaks down

into algos and rhythmless silence


Nikos Chrysikopoulos

St. Gallen, Switzerland




Above the Whispering Pines


The perfect metaphor can’t be caught

like a bass with the just right colored lure

coaxed like a child with the promise

of ice cream later if she’s good

can’t be kidnapped for ransom

swum after and held up like a prize

for a race quickly won

won't appear when you go out

wearing your rain slicker and hat

umbrella clutched in your right hand

or when you’re searching

between damp cobblestones

magnifying glass out

peering down at your feet


They dance out on the open  

plain, where you don’t know

how you could have not seen them

light dazzling, expanse wide open

and you’re on a hill

looking down not a tree

or shrub in sight


but like chasing after the sunset

in a boat planed off

and heading toward

that sinking sun

it’s only when you stop

chasing and head away

from what you seek


that your life

a perfect metaphor

will come and find you


Joanne Holdridge

Devens, MA, USA




More or Less


He was beside himself

with rage. When I say

beside himself I mean, close

but farther down the page

than you at first

might have expected.

So, there he is

or was

glowering, incandescent, howling

for all he was worth

which wasn’t a lot,

half man, half something else

100 percent clot,

shouting the odds

making a show of a show,

beside himself

but farther down the page

as I previously explained,

than at first you might know.


David Pike

Camelford, Cornwall




I Teach Adult Education Classes


 I teach adult education classes

and look the part, with my tweed jacket, beard

and glasses. History of Ideas: art,

literature, science, philosophy.

We meet in shabby run-down parish halls

with pallid flickering fluorescent lights 

and walls of peeling beige. In midwinter

night falls by four. Drizzle patters 

on the windows. Outside it’s bitter cold;

in here the radiator’s on full blast. 

Every head is grey. I’m sixty-two

and I’m the youngest in the room. 

In twenty years or so we’ll all be dead. 

Meantime, we consume tea and plates of

hobnobs, and we feed our hungry minds

with Plato, Dante, Darwin, Hobbes, and Hume.


Brandon Robshaw

Walthamstow, London




Fool’s Aftermath


A swarm of wasps

are questions in my head,

a pavement tries hard

to hold me upright,

a spent night

wonders where I’ve been,

and you are nowhere

to be seen.


That clock with no hands

is telling me lies,

a roundabout

ignores my pleas,

my way home

needs the kiss of life,

and you are nowhere

to be seen.


There are words lying

where you left them,

there’s an excuse

that cannot be excused,

there’s a life running

headlong into a whimper,

and you are nowhere

to be seen.


And if there’s no you

I don’t want to be

who I think I am

in the morning.


Your face

will forever be

the speech I didn’t hear.


Gordon Scapens

Penwortham, Preston




No Rain


I check the window.

The ocean slaps the wall below

and clouds are scudding. 

But there’s no rain.

Out the door and down the path                             

my brute and I go marching.

Inside, as I typed, he lay                                                           

and brooded. Outside alone,                                                    

fields vying for inspection,                                    

he skulked about the yard                                                          

and eyed the door.                                                             

But now we’re off together                                                        

and he’s prancing, bucking, whirling                   

his approval. I’m infected.

Reflection, speculation                                                                are suspended. We’re                                                

freewheeling. He’s on                                             

a trail of smells that must be tested,                                 

I’m stepping in the pawprints of his quest.                              

This ridge that’s under snuffle                        

spans the headland. The ocean,                                        

on my left hand, melds with sky.                 

We’re down the other                                  

towards a fern-fringed lake.                                   

He, voracious at the sight                                                              of so much water, laps and slavers.                         

A gallon later, we shuffle                                                            

up a rise to meet the sea                                           

upon the other shore.

His eyes are gunsights.                                 

This water’s not for drinking.

It’s a target. He jounces                 

belly-high in seaweed,

around a rotting hulk and,

after splashing anything nose-worthy,                         

scrabbles back. At the ditch

I snag him by the collar                                        

to let a car by, the driver

lifts a finger in salute.                                                    

And here’s the quay - a squawk              

of gulls, bewailing our intrusion,

as he, unscrupled, smiling

on the seawall leaps and war-whoops,                                 

keeping them in flight.

A glance across the bay affirms                        

The Bens are watching                     


and with the self-same gusto we return.                                      House in sight, he rushes up the drive                                          as if he never wished to leave it.

brushes by me indoors, mauls                   

his bedding, and, uninclined

to write a word about it,

slips to sleep.


Daniel P. Stokes

Dublin, Ireland




Feigning Sleep         


The mornings you get out of bed before me,

feigning sleep, I watch you dress

to gauge how you behave

when no one’s looking.

And as you waddle round the room

attacking drawers, I focus,

fascinated, on your fork,

your breasts, your buttocks

as if I’d never seen them.


We’ve linked our aims

and fused our flesh

and know we’re better paired.

Still… having to concede that you exist

outside of my conception

and create a universe that overlaps with mine

with perceptions that don’t pertain to me

and dark matter I can never sound

nor work my will on,

leaves me frantic to find out what I can.


But even as I curl here, concealing

my intent to see what you’ll reveal,

I’ve half a notion you’re aware

intuitively of being watched,

instinctively amused by my poor ruse

to find insights in your undulations

and artillery in the manner

you pull on your drawers.


Daniel P. Stokes






Every autumn grandpa hunted bobwhite

Castle Hayne NC. At dinner,

he always warned “Bite slowly”

but at nine years old, holster

and cap gun strapped to my hip,                                

chipmunk-cheeked with mashed potatoes and biscuits,                

gravy odor filling my nose, I chomped into the spicy meat


in rapture—eyes closed—


bit on a birdshot, chipping

and cracking an incisor down the middle.

My tongue found it, spit it out

on great-grandma’s Royal Albert China plate.                        

It rolled up the edge and back by a pea.

Gramps shook his head.


I let out a cry a neighbor declared

she heard half a mile away.                    

Sixty years later                                                      

my tongue still probes its worn cleft,

that metallic aftertaste

tainting every buttered biscuit,


birdshot embedded in every bite.


Peter Venable

Winston Salem







Just trimmed your nails this morning. You don’t need 

them to remember that we all have claws.

Reminds you of a conference years ago:

a poet told you, “There are claws around us.” 

Then, “How long have you been writing?” This

before a curt dismantling of your work. 

Your miniatures lay there scratched and chipped.

The poem the poet liked the best was one 

about your death. Just sayin.’ Why not sample 

it: “Streams nibble behind my knees.” That night,

the poet read a poem you loved. About

kids playing hide-and-seek. At dusk, the parents

cry, “All in! All in!” A fine refrain. 

Evading claws. Or entering their clutches.


Thomas Zimmerman

Ann Arbor, MI, USA


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