David Punter – 2 poems

Mars, Phobos, Deimos
Mars, the god of war, is followed through the universe by his twin moons,
the hounds of fear and terror, Phobos and Deimos.
Mars is now mined to its core
     the vast glowing space-drills
never stop, never slow; demand
     is insatiable: uranium, iron,
the rarest of rare metals, some never
     seen elsewhere; raw materials
for brake pads, satellites. The god
     of war is fostering his own.


Phobos is one huge strip mall;
     everything you could possibly want
is here – electronics, clothing, games,
     McDonalds’s, Kentucky Fried Greed,
Costa Coffee, all the brands now
     banned earthside, all discounted –
from what, nobody knows. The hound of
     fear now tells us what we need.


Deimos is dark, except for the red lights
     of the observation towers
glinting in the wild blackness, overseeing
     the worst of criminals in chains
(or so they say); but who can tell what is
     locked up by the hound of terror;
who can say, any more, who is or who is not
     a terrorist. Except by their remains.



The Census-Taker
T’ang Dynasty; in the wildlands
Rust-mottled yurt, a four-day ride
from Ulan Bator, a sabre-toothed youth
gives an ambiguous welcome from their side
but I can’t understand a single name
which makes it difficult counting up to truth.


Yellowish-green stew steams with game
pleasantly enough; then they produce
fiery liquor in a bronze flask
and pass it till my tongue is loose.


Waking fearful to the morning’s task
broad as the sun and empty as a stream
I fear I have insulted the imperial dream
or that of some official. I need not dread;
they’ve understood no single word I’ve said.




David Punter

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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