Les Wicks: Five Poems

Picaresque Encounters: Martin Langford launches Time Taken by Les Wicks

The Day Before an Election

Is the answer keep talking?
Why do we persist?
Has anyone listened?
Do we listen?

Change must come
to stay the same
(this core human aspiration).
I’m part of an unsteady purpose
yes, part of some watercourse.
But there are rivers everywhere, they’re
a sewer or border
holidays or holy.
Rivers are nothing until they’re gone.

A “good leader” paddles upstream
perhaps ordering the course to change.
He’s a he (of course, this is another current).
This flow…………………………………………………………..
forgot itself.………………………………………………………..
In no time he who
wanted a huge splash, gets just a plash.
Puddles I’m told
can be a lifespan.

I of course have my fissures —
can laugh like clay.

What of his reputation
cracks & croaks.
Not enough for a single good mud.

Warfare up on the hills never helped
while surrender just stirs up more problems.
You thought extinction would be easy?

I will march & vote
then try to start listening all over again.


An Aspiration for Firmaments

What you need ain’t
what you get.
Wanted wings, she had been paying for years —
saved feathers in a memory jar
with her truest love’s ashes.
Her tears were kept pleated,
locked in her special cabinet.

Thought maybe when those feathers
outweighed the remains
there would be her last transaction.

Where are all the travelling salesmen now
or those Avon ladies promising pinnacles?
One gentleman did show up.
Door to door he was
just selling doors.
There had been a promise
that when she had enough of them
wings were unnecessary.

Bi fold, French, pivots, sliding
she bought & bought.

Eventually, deliveries stopped
& she, still flightless
had flapped those doors so much
the hinges became unhinged.
She wondered about any man’s promise,
whether even the sky had lied
in its pernicious blue.


Diogenes Down in the Dumps

What if we’re all dead already?
There was talk about a virus
so we never quite touch
can never quite know.

That spooky sound… a train up on the hill?
Within, without there may be a tunnel
or a passenger. A solitary ogle of light approaches.
Perhaps a Ghost Train
from that carnival gone bust.
No matter, both the same
scissored night
like some gag-suit worn to a funeral
gets torn to pieces
caught up in the enthusiasms of grief.

Someone lit up my world.
But what is that worth when I admit
an enduring fascination for raptors & car taillights?

Silence allures
it is often mistaken for deep.
Can hardly read in this murk.
I bought a ticket, a gesture
perhaps tomorrow.


A Plan

Tobias will build a forest
for the wallabies to graze
for him to raze.
He is the world to himself… a symphony.
Pipes wheeze up,
strings fret about within their housing,
orchestras of glut have no choice.
They will all get out again
cuddle & infect a whole new audience.

Crash music, a hat of horrendous hymns
seven deadly viruses
as the ocean rises to take a bow.
We beg Tobias to give us more
that has been the answer for centuries
& repetitive behaviour is the hallmark
of robust mental health (?)
plus a great (if one-tracked) memory.



Avoided every exercise
until I shuffled like a lego volcano.
Now I stretch & twitch ‘till
I wake up or sleep.
All my beloved drugs gave me up.

Someone said take silence instead —
let the gyruses mellow, even out.
Discovered my voice had fallen to a croak.
Told one’s voice is just muscle & intent
use it or lose it.
So I train, dialogue with the lords. No!

Picaresque Encounters: Martin Langford launches Time Taken by Les Wicks


Les Wicks has toured widely and seen publication in over 400 different magazines, anthologies & newspapers across 36 countries in 15 languages. His 15th book of poetry is Time Taken – New & Selected (Puncher & Wattmann, 2022). His Spanish bilingual e-book is available from the Rochford Cottage Bookshop. He can found on-line at http://leswicks.tripod.com/lw.htm





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