Charles Wilkinson


           - in the spotlight, singing rage
   & agony within unsettling dust; 
      a thousand arms held high,
                      living in unison
  his strut
              & roll,
                 & shearing lilt on stage
 cuts hearts & blends with tears
                 & mass refrains,
   as if their tide of fear is one;
yet they can’t catch
   an upper note that’s pitched
             inside, too sharp to hear

                  -  the texts 
             a toll of proper nouns 
     attached to crimes
        & sites where darkness
  hatched through bytes
            & clicks feeds stories
                          that will stick

night-tinted power turns
    to day – the dead die first in cyberspace;
they found him hanging
    from a thousand threads, the hour
                    the chair was kicked away

Gods Drawn from a Well         

   chance of spin
& coin luck
minting tales
  in the air
    flashing heads  
     the fall to
      water is 
       a prayer


     copper green
   wishes kept
 in stone deep
  depth desire -
     so sink down 
      darkest dream
        & sleep


    in earth wrung
  dry of light 
the choirs came
 grave–robbed from be-
   neath - singing
     or speaking 
      ash through lips
         of flame 

Prints & death marks

(This fell sergeant … Hamlet.V.ii)
width of isobars
     narrow, playing a gale: 
the musical identity 
     of weather in days & hours;
the hand’s thunder
     holding down chords
(variations on a cloud parade)
 death will be lines widening
    strictly for the anti-cyclone arrest
   winter-heaven    sky ivory   
        lick one finger    raise it to the wind
     test the world    slowly running    out of breath
         (loss of pale flesh)
          no breeze best  for silence
              & no knowing   if the sergeant   is the pretext 
             for less than     pianissimo      the lid shut

 or the last rest  before the sun escapes  this play for the next

Charles Wilkinson’s recent poems have appeared in Poetry Wales, Poetry Salzburg (Austria), Shearsman , New Walk, Tears in the Fence, Envoi, Otoliths , Futures Trading and other journals. A pamphlet, Ag & Au, appeared from Flarestack Poets.

He lives near mountains in Wales, where the members of the ovine community command the high places and are better looking than the politicians. A Twist in the Eye, his collection of weird fiction and strange tales, is out from Egaeus Press.
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