Here are some of the poems read and discussed at The Leopard on 20th March.
THE DUMPY STACKERS | John Williams
We no longer drink from them, the Dumpy Stackers
bought in the decade when things arose in stacks,
one thing upon another from cityscapes, houses, chairs,
to the clink-clank of ice-cubes in a glass.
Now our dumpy tumblers in their cosy box
stare back and say, come let’s speak frankly, no bullshit.
Stack, Build. Hunt through the house
for whatever lines up, pans out,
can on can, plate on plate, brick against brick,
bedsprings curling up to you through the mattress.
Find every edge, lip or bevel,
each mirror where you piece yourself together,
for that long glimpse into the future;
everything stacked in the sky
and you see alley fights with bottles and bins
and they have us from the air in pictures.
HAILSTONES | Jenny Hammond
No early morning wake-up sun —
even the birds were silent.
After the Ides, March balanced
between windy days
and the promise reluctant to leave.
She devised a goodbye to remember.
Dancers, born in her storm clouds,
fell from the North Wind,
turning green to icy white
in a frenzied, rowdy “Strip-the-Willow.”
Then melted back,
as if they never came.
BLACK PEARL | Jenny Hammond
The end result of Earth’s eruptive power —
a blackened pearl, an austere, barren land
of lava tongues and coarse volcanic sand,
where craters and calderas starkly glower.
The lava fields extruded to the sea
as round, volcanic bombs were hurled and formed,
and deep, explosive forces raged and stormed
interminably and incessantly.
Deep clefts, volcanic tubes and fumaroles
released sulphurous gas, spewed out hot ash,
the crust an open wound, a hideous gash —
exhaling fire and smoke through yawning holes.
Then, spent, this isle in dormancy has lain
for countless years; but mortals should beware —
the monster, lurking deep inside his lair
will stir to vent his anger once again.
FORGET ME NOT! | Reuben Parr
Forget me not, fine Sir,
Would you? If our paths crossed only once,
Or become entwined into a
Friendship based on trust, spending time
To leer with lust,
Walking through the crowds you cut a lonely figure
Undetected, labelled Mr Spectre,
Headed back to the lost and found,
In and out of sun filled fields,
Up on your shoulders your conscience is tweaked
Both sides, to incite a riotous roar
Within your acoustic flair,
Walking, laughing side by side
All day long and through the night,
Our destination, recitation
Expressing you through these words, forgetting
Did I conjure you or you I?
Where’s my lamp? Take all three wishes
Each day we will appear, oh friend of mine
Escape me you may, but forget me not!