A Poem Story

David Clarke – Unsplash.com

In the empty suburban evening

about eleven by my reckoning

I wait for an 88 Bus, just

down from the strip mall –

orange sodium street lamps arch

away in an curve down the hill

dragging their own misty halos

no warm bodies edge between

the box block shops straddling

the sealed concrete skin of the world.

A grandstand of jarring cog-grinding

smashes its way into my brittle hush

– bus driver wrestles his gear lever,

but the teeth won’t mesh…

he gives up, rolls alongside,

jerks in a hiss of hydraulics to a halt

driver looks at me –…


A poem

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Our ship’s sparse wooden masts

drift south among a herd of wildebergs –

unmoored Braque heads –

following their abrupt brows to

cross out of the Arctic Circle on

moss-green swells and tenuous foam streaks

the Boy halfway aloft up mainmast

hooks elbows through the rigging –

his frayed glove-cuffs

a ruff of spiky grey icicles –

watches the pallid sunlight skive over

the lumpy shoulders and darkling veils:

the ship rolls, heeling over his perch

he claps his freezing hands and scrambles

down the bone-grey hemp knots

onto the frost rime of the foredeck –

walks aft his steps…


A poem story of invasion – Part 1

Photo by NASA on Unsplash

From across a barely finite void

unimaginably alien minds

scrutinised our blue world with callous calculation

On planet Malkith,

30,000 leagues above its spiky feldspar

surface and swirling purple clouds,

a burnished gold spider-scope

clings, egg-shaped, to a basalt spire,

fixed fast by diamond screws to web-thin wires

and carbon spars

Malkith observes from the golden perch

– unimpeded by the pendulous atmosphere below –

a spire-scope sweeps, an oversize clock hand,

through space; intricate gimbals cinch and whirr

aligning its tight beam over light years

focused through emerald lenses thin as wafers,

always searching for planetary prey:

their home…


Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

A Poem Journey


A poem story

Yuliya Kosolapova – Unsplash.com

a thin canyon of red and yellow stone

an arms length apart

waves in the sunlight and back to shadow;

shifting heat haze chevrons beat

back across each other,

trapped in a moiré between the feldspar walls;

a too blue iris sky line,

set and stretched – its baleful scrutiny

over-taut, unchanging

out of the ravine mouth

brilliantine ivory sand spills

its furious internal heat – the tiny

lamina ceramic flecks spear

their dire picks into my eyes.

The hemmed in way ahead looks dead of

living, even of the remnants there’s no sign –

small footmarks tentatively lead into


A Poem Story

Photo by NASA on Unsplash

God tinkers in his garage – He has shadow boards for tools –

so many creative designs whizz round His omni-mind

He shuffles through the spiral shavings, clay offcuts,

wire configurations, and plaster of Paris odd-shapes;

He forgets one project as another catches his eye

He reaches out for an old favourite:

a hollowed out world, inhabitants living inside,

snags his linen robe in the workbench vice,

stumbles and stubs His sandalled toe on a marble

block He’s been meaning to move for an eternity,

bangs his head on a brace of membranes hanging

from the rafters…


Photo by Edward Polo on Unsplash

A Poem


A Poem

Photo by Beatriz Ribeiro on Unsplash

after picking at all the godly choices

I’ve fallen;

crawling up

from the deepest ant-lion hole

throwing hands at gruff truths

that some of that gritty muck

would stick and drag me up

The well-hole’s sky-eye

shifts its endless frames of light

a tussock of grass on the rim

tears out – ffs – sending me

scrabbling back to the bottom

crumpled up at the base

an ant crawls its spiral way

up past my dirty face,

tickling down tiny granules

that roll onto my sleeve –

the massless creature continues its

surefooted way upward, and

out of…


A Poem Story

Photo by Luke Jurgella on Unsplash

Ectre, the man-boy, stoops

under the evening dusk,

a half-hitch catches in his throat:

the sun-glow drops suddenly

into a mountainous hole,

darkness presses in

to fill the space with black and grey,

close and naturally unfriendly

stippled star-lights,

silvery seeds thrown across the

blank and implacable sky,

dark and still as tar:

riddled with the ritual warding-off of ills

hovering beyond the kraal,

swishing their ashen mare’s tails

like charcoal brushstrokes through surly air,

it rushes near,

before veering away for another scary carve

there is no magic realism here –

every comet is a falling angel,

every sign…

Michael Barley

Writer from Australia: novels stories poems • humour • history • music • passionate about writing • noticer • disseminator • did I mention music?

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