Transparent Words - Poetry


6 Poems by Jim Bennett




the words came at him like bullets
- killed him as surely as the cancer -
he flinched as each one struck home
“bugger me” was all he said
until afterwards in the car
when he sat and cried
“So much I’ve never done” he said
then reeled off his litany of
things undone

he longed to see the Taj Mahal
the Sphinx and pyramids
and walk the Valley of the Kings
cross the Australian desert on a camel
trek into the Himalayas
walk the great ice continent
write to his sister

he wanted to listen to jazz
from street band in New Orleans
ride a Harley along Route 66
write his autobiography
write some poetry
play with his grandchildren in the park
“There’s time I said”
wondering just how far his dole would stretch

he died a week later
choked to death by blood
didn’t do any of the things he said
and forgot to say I love you
to anyone it would matter to



The clouds look familiar
I’m sure I’ve seen them before
Perhaps they followed me here
To make sure
I don’t feel


after shopping at Tesco's
built between
landscaped landfill hills
we struggle to get all our
plastic shopping bags
card crates of cans
and bottled water
in the car boot space

our shopping spills over
onto vacant seats
into foot wells
we manoeuvre
soft fruit, eggs,
cracker packs
to the top

all the time we
talk about poetry
and what we
for posterity


Naming clouds

today I watch clouds
and I name them
stratocumulus is a rain cloud
thick closely packed
grey dark to light
it IS raining
but just small drops
they come from that cloud
after falling for ages
if I lie on the ground

I can watch it fall
see a drop
in its last moments
the ground makes a point
about solidity
but what is the point
the rain is heavier now
thick cloud thickening
becoming nimbostratus
dark grey to black

there are only
twelve main names for clouds
but this is black
and brings the night
before its time

today I am watching clouds
naming them
I think I’ll call this one

one less


he is not here anymore
but she still has to get children
up and ready for school
step over his shadow
in the chair by the TV
one less breakfast to prepare
one less packed lunch
one less kiss goodbye
at the door

the house is the same
his things untidy heaps
one day soon she says
when the smell of the soil
has gone from her hand
she will clear them up
but not today

today she slips her feet
into his slippers
sits in his chair
pulls his jumper
and his familiar scent
around her
and waits until
the children come home

Writing fiction


I wrote her a letter included a poem
she said she liked poems to rhyme
and anyway she only read prose
and thought poetry pretentious

I wrote her a short story
she said she only read novels
they had more substance
and better realised characters

I finished my novel and sent it
she said science fiction was for boys
and those that never matured
she said she only read romantic fiction

I wrote and said
I love you




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