A Poem by Jan Dean

In the Moroccan garden

in the green shade
five tortoises
doze
eyes shut slits
toes tucked
into shiny shells

when they wake
they are lumbering stones
their claws click
on blue tiles

their slow jaws
gently mash
pale lettuce

beside them
the fountain sings
like tiny glass bells
and the tortoises
dip their heads
and drink the music

Jan Dean
(From The Penguin in Lost Property; Jan Dean & Roger Stevens; Macmillan 2014)

PLP

Two Poems by Steve Waling

MAY
(after Appollinaire)
gorgeous May May Rhine river ferry
the ladies peer down from their cliffs
the boats float by you’re gorgeous
why do willows weep on the banks

rooted orchards blossoming astern
May’s cherry drifting petals like
painted nails I love to distraction
those petals fade on her eyelids

very slowly along the road
gypsies lead bear monkey dog
donkey pulled caravan behind
gliding past the Rhenish vines
regimental pipes distant marcher

May gorgeous among the ruins
ivy Virginia Creeper rose
willow shivering Rhenish breeze
bulrushes whisper to the naked vines

PRESS CONFERENCE
What – to camera – are we going to do now?
some things should never be said. That time
you called him a bastard, the mike on,
out of context, out of control
when a wag from the back shouts, Give up!

Never show any weakness, never admit
to the crippling depression that makes you –
atomised, anomied, reduced to a cipher –
crawl across the face of the Ops. Room
those mornings when the gloom’s too raw.

Those mornings when the gloom’s too raw,
crawl across the face of the Ops. Room
atomised, anomied, reduced to a cipher,
to the crippling depression that makes you
never show any weakness. Never admit

when a wag from the back shouts, Give up!
out of context, out of control –
you called him a bastard, the mike on –
some things should never be said. That time –
what – to camera – are we going to do now?

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