Series Editor - Jim Bennett

Introduction by Jim Bennett

Hello.  Welcome to a new series of CITN.  We will be looking at the work of individual poets in each edition and I hope it will help our readers to discover some new and exciting writing.  This series is open to all to submit and I am now keen to read new work for this series.


CITN 47. This  edition features the poetry of FERNANDO SMITH


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I’m happy to travel

this way; it takes ones mind

off the terrible food

and the possibility

of a painful death by

deep-vein thrombosis in

the hotel room next Wednesday.


                 from ;The Airport by Fernando Smith





The State of Things


Oy, Genghis

At the edge of the world

On My Star

The Bridge


The Airport

The Adventure

The Balcony

The Terrorist




1 – BIOGRAPHY:  FERNANDO SMITH - a description



Born 1965 in Bury, Manchester.

 Middle child, tethered to traditional northern alcoholic family.


Raised in a corner shop, which he utilised to his benefit by bribing girls with stolen confectionary, in order to penetrate the old mysteries.


Bought a guitar at age 10. Wrote a love song that same day.

Played first gig at a Silver Jubilee street party. Went down a storm.


Left school tried out a factory that summer; didn’t like it.

Accepted some money from the British Mountaineering Council to go

climbing abroad in return for a story.

 Developed a taste for writing while travelling and decided not to work in a factory again.


Went to Art College, painted, composed, and sculpted.

Had eyes scrubbed-up like new.

Never stopped with the poetry.

Performed his songs to drunks, ladies and drunken ladies.

(Some people see continents exploding; he got to see punks and teds dancing while he sang)

Told “There’s no money in poetry.”

Believed it.

Got a job, but couldn’t stop with the poetry.


Fell in love. Three fine-looking children. Fell out of love.



Worked in a variety of jobs with people in various degrees of pain.


Continued the poetry, which he began to perform to non-drunks as well as a better class of drunk than previously.


Told by his friend to stop pissing about and make an effort to “put himself out there.”


Made an effort.

Began to have work published here and there.


Still doing the poetry.








The State of Things


The little bird stood

transfixed by the sun


St. Francis bent over

scooping the creature

in his kind palms


The wind was high

urging the poplars to curve

like a reaching feather


Ten minutes later

the bird, perched in a cage,

cursed the sun

in a fishbone voice

mistaken for delight.









God sits alone

in his room, staring

into a dark mirror

with no reflection

remembering all

the women he

has loved

and let fall through

his mighty fingers.


His long silver

hair is slicked back

with a crusting


his beard needs a trim

and the snakeskin boot

on his right foot

has a hole in the sole.


He waits and waits

the telephone doesn’t ring


all his friends are gone

or dead

the family grown.

It has been an

unremarkable life




Oy, Genghis


The tanks are in the street

bloated with broken young men

hoping for an open heart

a garland of poppies

they are tired of the war

and could do with

a soft bottom to fondle

maybe drink wine

from a delicate glass


So, with the ancient hatred of the colonised

we lob a couple more grenades

at the bastards

curse their children’s children

burn their generals alive

bury them all in a nameless pit


Pity the aggressors

forever tied to the same story



At the edge of the world


The last light of

            dusk flicked its


picked out the


            hawked a crystal

across your room


            like a satellite

a pool of glass


through the window

onto the street



“A homecoming

            of sorts”

the advertisement crowed

a resting of the


in the soil of

my genes


There was nothing

much else

            to say

with eyes

so heavy from



Let me be with all

                        of this

recovering the good


be merciful in your


give this little


his golden





On My Star


On my star the day

fell quietly, like

Christmas trimmings

drifting down from

the corner, one

January morning.


The house is quiet.

I hear you

breathing through

your sleep.

Are you dreaming

my love?

Your ankles

dashing kicks

against me, resisting

this little death.




The Bridge


They stood in silhouette on the bridge

            to the dunes, beneath

a West African moon.


            so his shoulder touched

his shoulder

            as they regarded the moon, waiting

                        for the sign

that would inform their first kiss.


The other man,

            him, he, a man,

wore a light beard

            and the first man wondered

what technique was required

            to breach the tough fuzz

with his tongue.


He needn’t have concerned himself;

            as the man,

               him, he, claimed a hold

                        of the first man’s jaw

with a firmness he had never known before

            and kissed his mouth in

a most masculine way, his tongue

useful, cast like

            a wrench from his toolkit,

yet soft as holding

his father’s hand in the park.



And he, himself,

was kissed

            received a kiss;

allowed his own self

            a slight feint

as he accepted the choreography

of the moment, delivered


            heady, under a

West African moon.






Your mother died

crushed by a fallen

crate of Dutch flowers

one Thursday

in Hull.


I’m told she made a

sweet smelling corpse,

splayed beneath the cranes

by the waterfront.

An unusual garland

all packaged for the



You cried at her funeral

and wished you had spent

more time with her

when she was alive.


I couldn’t help but notice

that you sent a wreath

of tulips.




The Airport


The airport is hushed now

as we stand in stocking feet

free from our hand luggage

waiting for the terrorists

to broadcast some old concern

grumbling in our ears

as we prepare to drop

into the ocean, screaming

blind panic in chorus a

congregation in brace-

-position, oxygen

dangling like light above

our bowed heads.


I’m happy to travel

this way; it takes ones mind

off the terrible food

and the possibility

of a painful death by

deep-vein thrombosis in

the hotel room next Wednesday.




The Adventure


On the corner by a lime tree

near a building under


we failed to meet


Nothing happened by design

not a soul was waiting

for the rain that

did not fall


Time stares back

at the empty location


An old man walks by

a car breaks slowly

a bird recovers from

its gentle fall


A tin box radio somewhere

settles the ordinary


into the dusk




The Balcony


Your belly coated in honey

my desire improved by the sun

having now revealed the gunpowder

words of passion


And still you were absent


As golden as you cared to be

arousing compliments again

like secrets pouring from a man

broken on the wheel


And still you were absent


I waited for you too long

succumbing to cowardice

lifting the scabs of history

to free myself


And still you were absent


Like a mariner disassembling

his compass

I came to you without eyes

or anticipation

not caring if it was an arrival

or return


And still you were absent


I found you

on the blood red balconies of Cadiz

blooming in spring

succulent as a melting pear


and you advancing

with lilies in your hair

crowning a smile

that was not worn for me




The Terrorist


He moped around the shopping mall for a bit;

admired a jacket in the window of a famous chain-store,

remembered he needed a stamp

for the birthday card in his rucksack, then

entered an Italian restaurant-

“Neno’s Authentic Neapolitan Trattoria”

where he ordered garlic bread with cheese, a vegetariana pizza and double espresso.

After finishing the meal he made his way back to the rented terrace on Jubilee Street,

phoned his mum

and settled down to watch the football

while we trembled

in a state of high alert.



4 - Afterword

Email Poetry Kit - info@poetrykit.org   - if you would like to tell us what you think.  We are looking for other poets to feature in this series, and are open to submissions.  Please send one poem and a short bio to - info@poetrykit.org

Thank you for taking the time to read Caught in the Net.  Our other magazine s are Transparent Words ands Poetry Kit Magazine, which are webzines on the Poetry Kit site and this can be found at - http://www.poetrykit.org/