Les Wicks

Paper & Blades

Living in a book
I know I’ve read before.
No sign of finale, the characters forgettable.
Any conflict is a murmur like 
mewling dog-eared leaves that saw
too much time under the thumb.
Prevarication is a clumsy bookmark.

News comes in from university,
it’s all about the plot.
But another predictable crash
does not draw people back to the page.
I’ve tried fraud, suicide
& a grand old caper.
I guess your murder is the last twist available.

The Branch

It’s no downpour here yet, but always the promise
of extremity’s wet edges.
No sense
but some harmony
a moan beneath the winds 
outside the angophoras rise 
calling to that atrocity of stormguts
off across to the east.

Has happened before
at the foothills of your breath.
Thought we had cauterized the rain.

Fallen                              my hands like leaves.
Outside, with their sodden wings,
parrots flop aloft
as though flight is a reprieve for any tired of the earth.

We are slow, tectonic.
My bags are packed, the e-ticket waves
from the margin of our bed. 
I’m still inside you
when I hear
Already lonely.

So leaving everything behind
your weather, your gift.
There’s a minor flood happening down in the gully.
My thoughts are washed towards the sea 
for the salt is familiar tears.

The Prospector

Is it lazy
when I choose to stay outside the mine 
mildly annoyed at the clang of your consequence 
way down the shaft?

Because you are also that shaft…
loaded I’m sure, would need sunglasses
to minimize the glared glints
of your fantastic career.

Content to watch
glutton trucks come & go.
I wear their fumes, 
complicit? Maybe this is some type of atonement.

Years ago coulda got down & dirty, maybe possible still
if I manned up.
Once had pretension along that line of lode
but what young thing doesn’t want gold,
it’s a major fuck.

You come out for a break, I have to ask
why the persistence?
I detect a quaver through the crust 
of dust & sweat on your igneous face.
Cracked earth lips 
have tremors that shake just a little.
What else is there?

Les Wicks has been published across 37 countries in 16 languages. His 15th book of poetry is Time Taken – New & Selected (Puncher & Wattmann, 2022). He can be found at leswicks.tripod.com/lw.htm
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