The Peace Keeper - John Carré Buchanan

They trained him to kill.
To remove a face mask with his fingers,
slit a throat, sever a brain stem.
He can shoot centre mass,
advance with bayonet,
post a grenade,
take out a tank and make a bomb.
He's directed fire and lase'd targets.
They taught him to ambush
to advance under fire,
to suppress his own fear and press forward,
to fend for his mates - he will go it alone
and can kill with a shovel a stick or a stone.
His aggression's controlled, but
behind his tranquil eyes and square jaw
is a highly trained soldier ready for war.
Now he stands between combatants
capability checked,
the irony...
The rules of engagement in his pocket
and the blue beret on his head
make him the peace keeper.

John Carré Buchanan

Not That We Would Ever Dream Of Not - Ric Carter

You had canned laughter in your hair.
It accompanied everything you said,
drowning out the ends of your sentences,
your sentence ends.

I had had my sentence ends trimmed, tidied up so as
to cut down on my talking, which I told myself was
getting out of hand, and now I never got to the end of
sentences and no one understood what I was trying
to say.

I made phone calls and they came out garbled.
But I knew these were victorious conversations –
uselessly stupid, stupidly fruitless, fruitlessly weird,
weirdly important, dreams with dreamt-up punchlines,
mostly but not entirely jokeless.

Your hair laughed whenever you moved in your sleep,
soundtracking memories accumulated during the day –
our comedy situations that were awkwardly disastrous,
disastrously awkward, awkwardly disastrous,
disastrously awkward, ad infinitum, infinitum ad

Ric Carter

Vazon Strand - Steve Rowe

we would run
ancient heroes
on the long silver beach
chase wild water ’til midnight
on the shoreline of the reach
over timber
to the causeway
'neath the granite of the quay
over silence of the soft wet sand
to the edge of the sea

and some would seek fortunes
others wade in deep mud
or standing like a legion
with a banner under god
chant longing for the master
rave passion for the king
open up for the chalice
to wear the robe and the ring

and we were lit by the stars and the planets
looking for the holy grail
with your pale face staring
at the full moon's train
down on the vazon strand

we were cold on the monday
stony broke in the week
waiting long for the holy days
when we gathered to the street
and we were all fine companions
on the journey to the end
sea salt sailors
friends of friends of our friends

and I knew you when I met you
and I found you in the crowd
like an island in the moonlight
like a star above a crown
and we shared all our fortune
and buried all our tears
in the depths of the dunes
in the shadow of the pier

and we were lit by the stars and the planets
looking for the holy grail
with your pale face staring
at the full moon's train
down on the vazon strand

Steve Rowe

The Last Trump - Oscar Milde


(1 Corinthians 15:52 King James Bible.
In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye,
at the last trump we shall be changed ...
)

Donald has a Trumpet
that he Trumpets on each day.

Observers fulminate and moan,
You ain’t supposed to blow your own!

But Donald doesn’t give a hoot
and blows it anyway.

When he’s not trumpeting, he Tweets
of fake-news-media-deceits
or, when he really gets upset,
issues his oft-repeated threat
to squash, demolish, wipe out, ruin,
that little nutter, Kim Jong Un.

With Armageddon coming fast
let’s hope Don’s Trump is not the Last.

Oscar Milde

Drowning - Trudie Shannon

He is drowning.
Little by little.
Hour by hour.
Day by day.
He begs no witnesses
Only the reflection
Of the man he once knew
To recognise him occasionally
From the surface of every other bottle.
He has cast himself out, is adrift
On a shattered amber sea, whiskey dreaming.
Outside it rains
And the river runs wild with white horses
And the dog pleads for exercise
And the cat chases windblown leaves
And half bottled, he sleeps
Slipping sideways, an indoor down and out
Fearful of living, angry at life.
Comatose in his leather armchair.
He is drowning.
Little by little.
Hour by hour.
Day by day.
Beside the garden gate
His woman bids farewell to silence, to loneliness.
Inside, he waits, little knowing
That Death will not succumb to bribery.

Trudie Shannon

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