3 new poems by Kevin Griffin

1

Cleopatra 

saunters over to the Nile,

looks at her world for a moment

from a bed of reeds,

feels the warm mud

ooze around her ankles.

On a whim, she shapes an image,

a man, from the mud,

no higher than her thighs, 

his blank face pleases her.


There on the riverbank she watches him 

hardening, in the hot sun.

 

Immediately, she kicks him to dust

and tramples him back into the mud.

She leaves, wondering what the red sun

is doing to the river 

 

 

Wanderer

 

Can’t remember if today is the day

I’m allowed a coffee, or a drink, or both.

Clear until whirlingthought time.

Hell, I will remember what’s urgent.

 

Didn’t bring a list, would only confuse with previous in pockets,   

be a wanderer in supermarket aisles to spark memory 

which technique to be used to recall other missions, 

stroll past post office hardware takeaway stationery,  

doesn’t work today, maybe because of mystic gingerman 

strolling, but with intent in small hometown 

 

Forgot once, in wandering, rendezvous with Doc E 

until other ailment presented, after how long?

Visit today, 5.15, appointment card refused for same reason as above.

Don’t wantneed to arrive too early, nothing in waiting room

but glossies of the beautiful but irrelevant people to be looked at only

but room cool and comfortable with print of Friedrich’s Wanderer

and photo of a vague literatus.

 

Now writing, in purple, new note to self on screen inside head,

if I am to be with M at weekend must call M (another) about R (dog).

M (the second) runs doggie hotel. 

 

Tooth bummer ce matin, pain in crucial tooth that holds 

pride and joy cool metal plate in mouthfront 

that enables stainless steel smile. 

 

Sign winks one degree, heard cold due to funny breast shaped

weather system having tryst with cold front,

often happens, with or without metaphor.

 

Hardware shop arrives, rows of gilets jaunes, Xtra large

Note to self, in purple; join some protest soon,

spectator only in 1968 because of exam throes.    

Think if they want everyone to wear hi viz 

then would anyone be noticed?  

At door, green flowerpot of already hit golf balls,

proceeds to charity my foot. Cooking tonight,

onion soup, non-French, and pasta and prawns with lardons,

There’s the list, but with what wine?

 

Pools of water on pavement betrays for now 

artisans’ imperfect level of spirit.   

In neglected coffee shop again,

among aliens playing financiers.                                                                                 

Outside, here’s again one who walks with gingerman stroll,                                    

where wowtall woman walks ginger haired dog.

on the happy haphardness of non grid pattern streets

with real vague signs and too unhaphazard flowerbeds.

 

Still semi-flâneur wanderer, walking now

to where I will ask, where’s the car?

 

 

Roma
“And besides, we lovers fear nothing.”
                                                              Ovid.

 

Our room was dingy, the only window

looking out on an opening that chimneyed

up to a heaven and down to the mouth of Avernus.

 

We had pushed the single beds together and 

we were eating a cold pizza and guzzling

a welcome bottle of Umbrian vino rosso.

 

The hotel was on a via that led to another

and yet another, eventually finding a way 

to the Circus Maximus, where earlier 

 

we had sat watching the ghosts. Before, it was 

a church of ghastly Medusa murals 

that would turn sinners to stone.

 

Outside, a bejewelled girl in a scanty skirt

and a bitty top, her eyes, glazed over,

spoke with their emptiness.

 

The wine had brought some analgesia

from the discord of scooters on the cobbles. 

The half-light set dark forms dancing on the walls.

 

In strange phrases, the TV threatened.

Still, we were grateful for the welcome

but troubled Lethe-like oblivion.

 

Tomorrow, a triumphant trundle to the aeroporto 

to join the queues for the general judgement

and submit our bags, and souls, to a particular frisking. 

 

 

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