Tinder

Gnarled skin, cut and peeled
from a slender pocked trunk
in a storm by shaking hands
and kept in a cardboard box.

A dried husk of a great legacy,
bark and leaves, verdant beauty
now faded, a silvered shade,
a curled fragment of canopy.

Applied to dead wood, piled,
it adds slight height to sticks
and sits there, dormant, until
match head meets strike strip.

The first flicker of rising flame
tastes tender flesh and bites,
shines bright through silver skin,
catches, and bursts, and burns.

Dry remains of an elegant birch,
those charred smoking fragments
of parchment, just for a moment,
shone, and danced, and died.

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Do It Again! Do It Again!

Do It Again! Do It Again!

by David R J Sealey

 

I’ve heard that some poets were so blessed with time

they could spend whole weeks reworking a single line.

I work in an office and, though I’ve seen printed mine,

I have seen not a penny, not a nickel, nor dime,

 

and I know that my words are not groundbreaking

or classically poetic like Thomas or Constantine,

but just imagine if Jagger or John Lennon did just sing

All Shook Up wearing the blue suede shoes of the King,

 

or Picasso just painted pictures of bowls of fruit,

or the Coen brothers staged a Casablanca reshoot,

or Hendrix played Greensleeves unplugged on the lute,

or the Fat Duck served up slabs of salmon en croute,

 

or we all lived in round houses raised from the mud,

or foreign armies invaded, borne on rivers of blood

and we all died of syphilis or the black plague;

don’t you just wish for those good old days?

 

I just wish that one day I’d get paid

for words that I have so carefully laid,

for all of the cards that I have played

without resorting to rhymes so staid,

 

and I am sorry if you find this derivative,

but I fear I have plagiarised the dictionary

and the internet in the course of its creation;

 

only poetry prays for the death of innovation.

 

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