Chips

When I get home

From town

I like to put on some classical music

Vinyl, of course

Make myself a herbal tea

Snack on some seeds

Whilst completing a cryptic crossword

The Times, of course

I like to lie back

With a challenging

Yet inspirational

Piece of literature

Russian, of course

And as I drift off to sleep

In my Egyptian cotton pyjamas

I like to pretend

That the highlight of my day

Wasn’t the chips, cheese and gravy

I bought from Kev

That I can still feel

Waging an endless war

With the seeds

And tea

And denial.

©Stuart Buck

Nettles

Stood at the apex of the hill

All laughter, fun and sun sun sun

Adolescent astigmatism hiding the dangers below

We cast off like two clippers

Sailing to freedom

Flying down the steep incline

The grass tickling our soles

Naked as the day we were born

And twice as innocent

We floated onwards

It was the one time in my childhood

My inferior age stood me in good stead

Less Weight

More speed

I was winning the race

I reached the bottom moments before my brother

The nettles piercing my skin

My brothers scream splitting the air

The cries of my parents

The calamine nights that followed

©Stuart Buck

A europe wide search for love

Hello,

My poem Lost Highways came 2nd in Cultured Vultures poem of the week competition this week. After a third place previously, I am hoping to hit the jackpot next week with one of these two. Both are about the futility of homelessness. Enjoy.

Stu

Maize

As I pish pash down the monstrous streets of Paris

The rain makes the cheap neon shimmer and shiver

I am approached by a creaking vagrant

Shuddering and Grunting

Coughing and Wheezing

He pushes a shopping trolley containing maize

I secretly wish he will pass me by

But of course he does not

‘Want some corn’ he asks

‘That’s maize.’  I say

‘That’s not fit for human consumption’ I say

He laughed

Raised his hands to the skies

‘None of this is fit for human consumption’ he screamed

I bought some maize and trudged on

How could I argue

U-Bahn

We were sat on the U-Bahn in Berlin

My soon to be wife and I

After a long day shopping and sightseeing

A tramp boarded at Gleisdreieck

He stank of his own shit

Wretched and base

Freshly lain

He shuffled up the middle of the train

As people leered and ogled his plight

This once proud human

That bleeds the same colour as all of us

Reduced to a foul shit stink

My wife and I sunk low in our seats

As the man begged for change we all had

But would not give

He got out at Prinzenßtrase

Leaving the foul stench of disappointment

Thick in our throats

A couple of stops later we disembarked

Returned to our hotel

Through snow lined streets

Our breath exploding in front of us

Hands deep in our fleeced pockets

As soon as we got in we ordered room service

Laying on our bed

Our stomachs full

We made love amongst the wreckage

While outside the smell of frozen shit

Lingered in the air

Like so much regret

Both ©Stuart Buck

Smile

By midnight we had destroyed one another

Razed cities to the ground

We had dethroned kings

Shifted plates

The tremors could be felt across the world

The rising black smoke poured into the sky above us

As the sparks we made caused fires

Earlier that day we had lain together

For the final time

Our souls alight

The death of our love pushed firmly to the back

As we stained our memories

With sweat and semen

And false promises

Yesterday you broke my back

Punctured my lungs

Caused despair

Where life once grew

Selfish and sterile

Ripped from your being

An unwanted tumor

Three weeks ago we knew

How we detested one another

The mask slipped

The facade ended

We orbited one another

Afraid to make contact

Ashamed of our failures

Daring to look forward

A year ago we began to drop

Self hatred replaced by loathing

We still smiled

Not daring to admit

We had made a mistake

Not daring to speak

Of universal truths

Before that was sterility

Beige banality

I became a hen pecked cuckold

Dry and disappointing

My being diluted

Until all that remained

Was no part of me at all

The first month was wonderful

We knew we would never part

How could two people so similar

Exist in a finite world

We licked and smacked and gulped

Drank from each other

Sating our thirst

Scythe

He came to my bedside
And told me all things must die
I stared through him
At the teeth chattering on the walls
At the decaying bouquets
At the bodies piled up
In the corner of the room
Light replaced dark
I took his hand
And he smiled

©Stuart Buck

Lawn

I remember him now and then
When I’m feeling brave enough to recall my childhood
Mr. Strathclyde
He was a welcome break from the ceaseless banality of the suburbs
I’d see him every Saturday morning on my way to work
Damp panatela clamped between his gums
Stained string vest and pyjama bottoms
Smirking like he’d just told a dirty joke that no one had heard
‘Morning sport’ he’d yell at me over the thrum and whine of his lawnmower
I hated sport
But I liked him
‘Morning Mr. Strathclyde’
His lawn was immaculate
Set square perfection
He’d tend that lawn until they took him away he used to say
I never saw Mrs. Strathclyde, although I knew she was lame
Sometimes you’d see the curtains twitch in the bedroom upstairs

One Saturday I was walking to work when I noticed a weed growing in the centre of the lawn
Right in the middle, defiling it
The next week there were more weeds
The grass was getting longer
Clover and moss burst through the pristine layer of grass
A crisp packet lounged in the corner, its garish maw gaping obscenely
After that my dad lost his job and we moved to the other side of town
I never saw Mr. Strathclyde’s lawn again

©Stuart Buck 2015