Readers are asked to send a note of any misprints or mistakes that they spot in this poem to support@standmagazine.org

This poem is taken from Stand 225, 18(1) March - May 2020.

Dave R. Wilson Three Poems
The Rising Cost of Beer

(the fourth and last section of a larger piece called
‘The Beer Bosun’; and with apologies to P. B. Shelley)

‘Not a good place to be!’ I muttered
as the width of the new delta shrank
the further up river we went
so the currents became proportionately stronger
more treacherous and more frightening
whirlpools represented a decided threat
and had to be avoided at all costs
lest crew and craft be sucked out of existence

We were a hundred yards downstream of an eyot
a mudflat with six or eight adults
and two children on it
when I thought I detected a stutter in the outboard
One hundred yards!
More like a thousand in these currents
and what with the zig and zag;
a full thirty minutes of endangering effort

‘Did anyone hear that?’ I asked
pleading in my heart for an affirmative
Silence

‘Back to the ship then,’ I heard myself say
‘We can be there in an hour... get outboard checked...
and besides, I need to collect today’s beer ration.’

Four hours later we were back up river
at one hundred yards we fought as before
to maintain our position against Nature
But ‘nothing yet remained,’
of mudflat or survivors
‘the lone and level grey stretched far away’

Now, like barbed-wire in the brain
those old metaphors intrude on any pleasure
or threatened joy
by fixing a foul-tasting dryness
to the roof of my mouth
A poignant reminder that every action or its lack
can send contaminatory ripples
to the most distant and fragile
shores of Self


Deviant Melodies
(Ipswich, 2006)

Gave up counting the word ‘prostitute’
after the first two hundred mentions
With five murdered women
the media were pressed to recognise the fact
that the dead were daughters and sisters too

Generating the term, ‘Sex Worker’, being the softener
that ensured the media’s religious colluding  
was stoutly maintained

Here, then, were women desperate enough
to do anything to Live
yet vulnerable enough
to have their deaths marked by their nakedness
in this stream, that field – and in the media
misused and abused in both life and death


Her Absence

Palpable and abominable
the very air seems thinned
each breath, a labour in the void
each heartbeat, a dull thud against the chest-wall
that chest, all mechanical in its rising and falling

And Thought, too, is barb-wired up in guilt’s grinder
too wrung-out, too anguished
to calculate, even, the passage of time
being manacled in a protracted ‘now’
and utterly isolated from both past and future

But being contentedly discontented, nevertheless
and luxuriating masochistically
in the oily fact
that such pain pre-supposes Her existence
or, at least, Her having been

A sad balm, indeed, for a man-turned-robot

This poem is taken from Stand 225, 18(1) March - May 2020.

Readers are asked to send a note of any misprints or mistakes that they spot in this poem to support@standmagazine.org
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