A vespertine creature versus capitalism


Alcithoe hunched in the corner of her dark bedroom
cradling herself with filmy wings,

(she waits)

a vespertine creature conversing with owls when she takes flight.

The light from the wall-mounted screen glowers. Much-hymned Bacchus’
tentacles of ivy and vine reaching out, incessant. Ever-changing visions of feasts:

an abundance of food on decorative plates;
fasts carts drawn by lynxes;
perfumed, fawn-skin wearing nymphs,
dancing, twirling, shrieking
with joy,
of joy,
about joy

that can be bought by offering oneself up to the Lightning-Born.

Being industrious, it has changed meaning.

To be a contributing member she must join the frenzy,
but she won’t. She will not betray her sisters.
She will wait.

(she waits for dusk)

Swooping, soaring, when revellers are busy with their dinner,
she echolocates her kind.

(Is this really punishment?)


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A lion and a graphite metronome: 2 poetry videos

Here are two videos of poetry readings, recently added to my YouTube page.

The first is an autobiographical poem about me and my father. The second, an ars poetica in the villanelle form. Do you prefer structured and rhyming poetry or free verse? I am curious, so please let me know in the comments below!

Me reading Sitting Room with Circus Lion
Ars Poetica


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Two sonnets: an orange ape and bruised meat

Dunston Checks Out

Occupying the penthouse of the canopy, the King
of Ginger Swingers, Man of the Forest,
lived large. A two hundred pound bird
singing. Amusing with a thrust of his jaw
his jungle audience. And later on
the final place where you could see
his body lumbering, infecting with his yawn
a ragtag bunch of ennui brothers,
was in a glass box. And then there was one.
Studied, poked, prodded by mankind,
who pushed the final button and declared
this Titan of Apes to be blind, and while
the elevator sinks towards marble transience
we hold yet another impotent conference.


I wrote this poem for a competition, but then I didn’t enter it. Waiting for faraway deadlines and even more distant decisions is the thing of the past. I would rather share my poetry with you directly.

The competition had an environmental theme, and this poem is about the majestic orangutan becoming an endangered species. But it could easily be read as being about a certain controversial political figure!

I modernised the sonnet form for this poem, but my next sonnet follows the traditional form. It is a modern paraphrasing of Shakespeare’s Sonnet 130.


My love’s eyes are not like a dying star;
Her lips more like bruised meat than sea coral;
Her skin like snow driven over by car;
Her hair not spun gold but more like sorrel.

I have seen the Rosa damascena;
No, her cheeks have more of a fever flush;
No delightful perfume, her hyena-
like scent cannot be fixed with a toothbrush.

The sound of her voice is not unpleasant
but it’s not musical in any way.
Not a dreamer, I live in the present;
I can see that my love has feet of clay.

But still I think she is exceptional,
because she is real and not fictional.


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If you enjoyed this post, please let me know by liking or commenting… and if you have some likeminded friends, I’d love for you to share it with them.
Thank you!