Fright Night

Photo by Octoptimist on

Halloween’s here, as I sit with a beer

and pretend that it’s all superstition,

but it’s clearly much more, as I peek out the door

and see a strange apparition.

A ghoul or a ghost, a phantom maybe

or just my imagination.

Now is it my brain, for here comes a train,

yet there isn’t a railway station?

I go back inside, but it isn’t to hide,

for I’ll ignore what I think I just saw.

The chill and the damp and the ghost and the train,

which you might think a little bit risky,

but I’ll hold off these demons until the dawn breaks,

armed only with a bottle of whisky.


Early Mourning


Checking on the weather prospects this morning, I opened the bedroom blinds to what was, at first glance, a confusing sight, until I realised what had happened.


Early Mourning


The bedroom blinds open

onto a bland, grey morning

with what looks like snow on the street;

a remarkable feat for July.

But a bowling length beyond the fake blizzard

lies the pigeon,

whose showered plumage is scattered

like the aftermath of a wedding.

This unhappy union of car and carcass

was soundless under this morose sky.

A light breeze softly shifts the whiteness

from the road to the grassy verge

beneath a tree,

where a lonely pigeon waits.

© Wally Smith 2020



Summer Haikus

The lockdown for COVID-19 has restricted access to many of the places that I and others would normally frequent in the summer and it’s been disappointing and frustrating not to be able to take regular walks down country lanes and enjoy the hedgerow flowers. The garden has, however, provided an enjoyable, albeit confined, environment to enjoy the various aspects of the season.

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Summer Haikus
Dry ground yields nothing
Welcome rain replenishes
Weeds are now thriving

High winds whipping trees
Humbly bowing and bending
Leaves remain steadfast

Flower buds emerge
Aphid feeding frenzy starts:
For ladybirds too

© Wally Smith 2020

Bush Life


Before a rose a bud, cabbage green and bound,

sweet to sap sucking greenfly

atop spiteful stem, thorns that prick thumbs of little girls

who pluck petals to mix with water in rusty barrow

call it perfume, it smells of rainy Mondays,

still they dab it on wrists.


Blood droplet ladybird awaits aphid afternoon tea,

pimpling dendrite leaf, crimson carbuncle.

There was a summer when they swarmed –

our bikes were smeared with blood

as ladybird army advanced, were slaughtered

on car windscreens, and on doors, a massacre;

those that got away we smashed with bloodied bats;

their abandoned house on fire, they could not rescue Ann.


A rose by this name is not sweet –

petals scent of fresh-brewed sugared tea;

As June unfurls, they expose their beauty to midsummer sky.

Casket of gold, secret hid, beloved by bees

that seek pollen treasure to steal,

revealed as golden petals lose modesty

and bare their bodies to the hallowed sun.

Flaxen-gowned dancers jeté in theatre garden.

Floribunda corps de ballet until fall of night’s curtain.