Simon Williams – In Praise of Howling

In Praise of Howling

‘In such times, it’s either howl dementedly, or write poems dipped in battery acid.’
Neil Fulwood (TSN May 29th 2015)

Oh, howl dementedly
for all who can’t work but must work,
for all who are forced to share the rooms in their house,
for those who have been beaten or shouted out
of their family homes.

Oh, howl dementedly
for those who can’t bear their dreams of Afghanistan,
except in parks or under railway viaducts,
for those who dread going back, but aren’t allowed to stay,
for those who want to work, but are forbidden,
so those who can’t can be made to take their places.

Oh, howl dementedly
for those who can’t rest after 50 years of work,
for those who have no recourse to the law,
for those who have no money for recourse to the law
to regain the savings swindled from them.

Oh, howl dementedly
for those who have no money for the bus
to reach the interview for a job to pay their bus fares,
for those who spend more time filling quotas than healing,
for those who spend more time assessing than teaching.

Oh, howl dementedly
for those who have to feed from foodbanks,
for those who have to feed from skips behind supermarkets,
for those who go hungry outside restaurants,
whose cardboard pleas are rarely read.

Oh howl dementedly,
but forget about the moon.
Do it as the wolves really do,
for association
for communication
for location.

Simon Williams has written poetry for 35 years. It ranges widely, from quirky pieces often derived from news items or science and technology, to biographical themes, to the occasional Clerihew. He has five published collections, the latest being A Place Where Odd Animals Stand (Oversteps Books, 2012) and Wastrels  (Paper Dart Press, 2015). Simon founded the magazine, The Broadsheet (www.thebroadsheet.moonfruit.com). He makes a living as a journalist.

Simon Williams – A Martian Rover Sends A Postcard Home

A Martian Rover Sends A Postcard Home

Day is butterscotch, sometimes flesh,
ground is rubble from, perhaps, bombings.
I’ve yet to see a wall or column.

The sea goes out for centuries;
no sparkle from the pea-grain sun,
nothing water over the horizon.

Hills are always too far away,
something to yearn for through winter’s drain
when the epochal wind erodes.

They lead me to impressions
laid down like plastic saucers on a beach.
I ant around, honey-searching.

The little bits are just the same,
nothing wriggles, squints back.
I scoop another cup, build no castle.

Nothing’s green, not even hiding under rocks.
Just more ‘Meh. Try again. Over there’.
They live in hope, like lichen.

.
.

Simon Williams has written poetry for 35 years. It ranges widely, from quirky pieces often derived from news items or science and technology, to biographical themes, to the occasional Clerihew. He has five published collections, the latest being A Place Where Odd Animals Stand (Oversteps Books, 2012) and He|She  (Itinerant Press, 2013). Simon was The Bard of Exeter 2013 and has recently founded a new magazine, The Broadsheet (www.thebroadsheet.moonfruit.com). He makes a living as a journalist.

Simon Williams – Richard Feynman’s Last Act

Richard Feynman’s Last Act

When he was beyond words
and lying in Los Angeles,
he fluttered his fingers on the sheet
like a touch typist or a pianist.
The nurse said ‘He’s not trying
to communicate. It’s involuntary’.

In a lecture years before,
he’d said all science starts with a guess,
but if experiments don’t agree,
no matter how elegant the idea,
the guess is wrong.
You have to make another.

In the bed Richard raised his arms,
gestured there was nothing up his sleeves
and went for one last trick.
No need for a diagram, this time,
just experimental evidence.
He stuck out his tongue.

Note: Prof Richard Feynman won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1965 for his work on Quantum Electrodynamics, which included an innovative system of notation, called Feynman diagrams.

 

Simon Williams is a poet from Devon. He tweets @GreatBigBadger

Simon Williams – Beyond Beaker

Beyond Beaker

While interesting,
the Beaker people
are known to have lived
calm, sedentary lives;
cereal in the morning,
malted milk at night.

More adventurous,
the earlier Tankard people,
with their regular binges
in numerous stone temples,
were more gregarious.
New research has them
emerging over centuries from
the over-indulgent Stein Age.

 

 

Simon Williams is a poet from Devon. He tweets @GreatBigBadger

Simon Williams – Afterlife

Afterlife

When all my entanglements of matter

rework themselves, molecules twist

into sea wrack, kapok, coati mundi

or are blown in the interstellar winds

into the space between things,

they may, before the universe declines,

be split into their atoms, be swirled

into a new, though never new, gas cloud,

be recombined into another star.

Maybe just a hydrogen or two I borrowed

for a flick of time, will be there, the suns

and moons, once deep in my electrolytes,

may still mimic the system they left.

They saw the start, will be part of how it ends.

 

 

Simon Williams is a poet from Devon. He tweets @GreatBigBadger

Simon Williams – Two Poems

The London Whale Fiasco It wasn’t the first time for a pod to swim up from Southend, draw crowds through Tilbury, blow spume at Tower Bridge, but the first time they filtered left at the Walbrook and headed for the City. Who knew whales had a penchant, a passion for the risky bet, inside knowledge of commodities like krill and seals, shrimp and crabs; that they would go out on a limb, hoping for some fluke of trade to keep their silver solvent. Whales out on the strand, in the Strand, on the town, in the City, walking fin-in-hand, swinging their tails in an ever-bigger band, making their mark on the crashing cash land. Grey whale, white whale, blue whale, fin, humpback, bottlenose, narwhal’s PIN kept Beluga coming with a killer’s grin, like dining out on plankton was a mortal sin. When it all came down, the biggest breach in the whole of whaledom, the dolphins couldn’t ride the tidal ripples, got flipped and rolled. It was their bodies and the porpoises took the brunt; the small cetaceans that cackled their despair, shipped out from Millwall, got caught at the Barrage or beached on the flats at Leigh-on-Sea. It was the small, befuddled ones who watched, as the last escaping Minkes dived deep beyond the estuary.   Poem Not About Water ‘We’re all in this together, but some have the treads of their Hunters wet, while others are breathing through straws’. In stanza one, the water seeps up through the grating, covers the soles of your boots. In stanza two you’re paddling, wondering why you didn’t take the offer of free sandbags. By the third, cheap wooden furniture you feel you recognise clusters in doorways, held by the current. In the fourth, you’re grateful for the waders you were given by an angling friend, though you have to remove them by the fifth so you can swim freely. The sixth stanza sees you develop a new swim stroke, based on the tail beats of beavers. Stanza seven has you over the dyke, thrashing, eyes scanning the horizon for a ship, a raft, flotsam.   Simon Williams is a poet from Devon. He tweets @GreatBigBadger