Poem for the Day

A poem a day by Arthur J Plant

Sep 1

Tired Eyes

The world is very hard on the eyes,
bad news rolling in on dreary days
when everyone looks unhappy
chased by their stresses and strains,
passing over the kindly street cat
black fur near-bleached by the summer
with litter wafting around it’s feet,
children crying as their parents push ahead
because that’s what their parents did,
the elders missing the young they need
who are out missing the elders they need,
more bad news rolling on screen
and the street lights are awful bright,
I need to go home and shut ‘em for a bit.


Aug 31

For The Record

The jig is up, now and forever
everything is on record,
all the great philosophers
whispering into your pillow
while you try to roll away
for work tomorrow,
spies amateur, professionals
and amateurish professionals
chewing through the wires
with the mice in the drywall,
checking the memories
from relatives you never met
being installed into your desk
without your knowledge,
there are no wars now
just increasingly chaotic arguments
gone far out of control.


Aug 30

Stepping On Linoleum

Never in all my life have I experienced
such a shocking disappointment
as linoleum.

Tacky, sticky, mottled and cheap
barley clinging to the floor
underfoot at school, in the job centre,
through work and back at the job centre again
reminding you exactly where you are.

It is the modern tar of barren roads
on an endless rolling to nowhere
little love for little money spent
for the use of those with little to spend
until finally replaced with a coarse luxury
of shaved blue carpet.


Aug 29

Burning The Calender

I can’t stop but I never got started
another calender slot burning away at my feet
despite my clock’s fruitless efforts,
trapped by the bones locked to a chair
beside a window facing the wrong way
to watch the world go by.


Aug 28

The Breakdowns

There’s no forgiveness for those who try,
no reward anticipated for the effort
but the shock is in the absence of leeway
regardless of weight of heart or mind
or darkness around the eyes,
everyone rumbling over their own stones
too busy to notice the breakdowns.


Aug 27

Melancholic Floods

Swaddle me in a cloud of warm words,
summer has finished and the rains have come
to drown my mind in melancholic floods
that sweep further every year,
desperate and naked
clinging to the compliments I hoard.


Aug 25

Infectious Indignation

This has become a house of coughs and splutters
indignation settling as a chest infection
while the virus courses online and on the screen
our pasty-faced leaders gobbing furiously over each other,
bill boards and shop fronts wheezing in a climate
that encourages the epidemic like wind on a bushfire,
summer has ended but the national winter is getting worse,
only the shadow of the vote can tell us
when we can all venture out into the sun again.


Aug 24

Installations & Adjustments

I’m sick of this face.
I need something new.
Not a younger model
or a sleeker one,
hot necessarily an expensive upgrade.
Maybe something sleeker
with a little va-va-voom.
Maybe one with a few extra lines
or a little extra weight.
I could just swap out the cheeks
adjust the brows
raise or lower the hairline
but I’m on a budget.
I’ll just find someone
to install a smile for me.


Aug 23

Pharmacy Stock

It’s usually for someone very young or very old
packets embossed with the necessary information
for somebody who cares (and can read)
stacked in many dozens on shelves
decorated in a white to calm and reassure,
little actions against inconvenience or despair
prepared, stamped and sealed
wanting the label to match
to an animate soul in physical distress
waiting at home
while somebody waits anxiously to collect.


Aug 22

A Dead Jaguar

You might it had grown there
between the crops and brambles
as green as anything else
in England’s pleasant land,
mostly unmolested
by disinterested fauna
still on it’s haunches
but dead on the spot,
a sleek predator body
motionless, being deftly swallowed
by the late summer grasses
that sprout with the rain,
now just a ghost of a Jaguar remains
with no good road
to take it away.


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