Latest Poems

Here is a selection of poems from The Leopard Stanza on Tuesday 24th April.

JUKEBOX O’CONNOR’S | John Williams

The lows that give us cravings, like a stash
or tranquillisers and bottles of Coke
open with a spurt across your floor
and probe around your mouth with a metal prong,
tart as a battery pressed along the tongue.

At Jukebox O’Connor’s they struggle
to pour life into a suit, fix a drink
and swallow anything; heart, mind,
a fistful of matches snatched from the box
the dishcloth, your shoes, the car.

In the kitchen chrome you recognise
another you among all the gadgets,
stepping this way and that as if searching
for a scarce patch of sunlight, blunt and sheen,
part high, part low and part washing-machine.

MALAISE | Jenny Hammond

It’s happened.
He’s not invincible.
A hiccup in his tick-tock life
has changed him.

A hitch, a glitch,
malfunctioning his being
to become a number
on a plastic wrist band.

Nurses bustle,
check, examine,
fill the chart
and then they go.

Ladies trundle trolleys.
“Shepherd’s Pie? A cup of tea, dear?”
Précis latest Coronation Street
and then they go.

Visiting time —
kisses, grapes, a magazine,
some jolly talk
and then they go.

Day shifts to Night Shift,
but time stands still
for the man behind the curtains
attached to tubes and drips.

His identity smudged,
self-confidence erased,
dependent upon strangers.
and the beeping machine.

While back at home
she mourns the past,
scared of the present,
dreading the future.

She has no faith
and yet she prays
that this is not the end.
“Please make him well,” she says.

ANTIDOTE | Jenny Hammond

Hag stones, ring stones, hang-them-on-a-string stones,
Find-them-in-a-ditch stones to ward away the witch stones,
Find-them-on-the-beach stones, hang-them-out-of-reach stones,
Big stones, small stones, protection-from-them-all stones.

Black stones, white stones, not-a-pretty-sight stones,
Hang-them-on-the-bed-post-to-protect-you-through-the-night stones,
Upstairs, downstairs, to ward away the nightmares,
Let superstition save perdition — I’m alright, so who cares!


Have they time to shelter?
Time to separate life from death,
time to hide their beauty under umbrella leaves,
time for another day’s flight?

They are so thin, so delicate,
so perhaps the rain will miss them
on its way from the heavy cloud
to a crash landing in darkness.


About theleopard66

I am a member of the Stoke Stanza of The Poetry Society and run a bi-monthly Poems & Pints event in Alsager.
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