Ken Poyner – 2 poems



We could live the life of chaos.

Waving to strangers from the windows

Of yellow houses.  Ordering tea sets

For yachts adrift in the Interstate median.

Professing our love of horses

To the mad young boys who ride turtles

And condemn the grass.  There would be

So much

We could do.  But our lives are regulated,

Beginning to end, beginning to end, one thing

Ended and another beginning.

For our purposes a cigar

Is always a cigar, a train tunnel

The dark of the journey.  Waving

From the murderous windows of yellow houses

Is an excitement for people without mortgages.

Wave with me anyway.

The boys are strapped to their turtles,

The grass has had its come-uppance,

And everyone loves horses, loves tea sets.

There are strangers just over there.  Wave!

They pull off their blue shades and look at us,

Regard their watches, one

Starts at least a half gesture to wave back

And you can see cause and effect

Weighing on him.  He will make

An independent decision, and our world

Out of that one humid fact might go on.


His fingers in the air like bamboo

Twittering as though at the start of a race,

His wave, the sleek economy of it:

His waving.







Beneath the bed she can hear

The ocean heave, lap at itself,

Crest and growl:  independent.

She does not know how long she

Has been adrift, or this room

On the third floor awash.  Years

She has not peered under the bed,

Vacuuming with the length of the hose:

No smell of salt, no cry of seabirds,

No clatter of exoskeleton joints.

How long has the ocean hidden, how long

Did its infinite biology transpire

Beneath her bed – the bed

Barely as wide as she, barely

As long?  Brine and octopus

Calligraphy, mollusks as danced out

Through centuries of washed stone, the joy

Of fish in ordered numbers.

She has suspected.

Now, ever so cautiously,

She leans over the side, pulls up

The drape of cold, night blankets.  The

Clear sea breezes bring as well

Some stench of what gets cast

To the shore: the sea’s refusal

Of failure, the inept and worn out,

The decay of creatures falling behind.

Her hair is free to wash across the floor;

The spray there is mineral and oily.

She leans farther, past the box springs,

Balanced with only a fistful of mattress,

Wanting only to look, to look deeper,

To witness the joy of land-loving mermaids

Giddy with the sea, gasping in air.






After years of impersonating a Systems Engineer, Ken has retired to watch his wife of forty+ years continue to break both Masters and Open world raw powerlifting records.  Ken’s two current poetry collections (“The Book of Robot”, “Victims of a Failed Civics”) and three short fiction collections (“Constant Animals”, “Avenging Cartography”, “The Revenge of the House Hurlers”) are available from Amazon and most book selling websites.  Visit him at

By Heavenly Flower Publishing

Bindweed Magazine publishes two anthologies each year: Midsummer Madness and Winter Wonderland. Bindweed is run as a not for profit, labour of love endeavour by an author/poet couple: Leilanie Stewart and Joseph Robert. Bindweed can be found at

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