Friday, 3 September 2021

Five Superb Poems by David Estringel


Mother’s Milk


It’s been a year

since the blush was kissed from your cheeks,

stolen away

with the morning sun,

leaving us here

with only the chill of starless night

as a guide.

How the void you left behind


like restless ghosts of marigolds

and burnt almonds,


from room to room,

fingering dusty frames

and long abandoned books,

stealing space.

Yet, I see nothing.

Shall I look behind bookcases

or cobwebs in dark corners?

Under the stacks of magazines, you never read

or those secret places—

old purses and shoeboxes--

that hid your treasures

from prying eyes

and sticky fingers?

Where is that


I once found bitter

that, now, tastes so sweet?

Won’t you sing to me

just one more time?





Quiet starfalls,

sprinkled from God’s fingertips,

slice and burn through Summer’s night

to dance and play atop the barley,

resting, gently, noble crowns upon

smooth brows of boys and girls

playing in the fields.


How these kings and queens of Earth (of nothing),

swathed in paupers’ cloth

with bodies, electric, of

hot blood and light,

laugh and prance in fountain-drunken promenade

through this mortal coil, blind

to cut and scrape.


O, flowers among the chaff,

with cheeks, sticky-sweet with red plum jam, and arms, outstretched,

I pray those luminous wreathes and heady scepters never fall

as you leap, and twirl,

and tumble

into the sweet oblivion of your starry fields, for

just beyond the horizon

fire flies.



False Knight on the Road


Atop a valiant steed with a head full o’ rags, the road beckoned, stretching—long—into a realm of darkening cloud but lined with gold (for the taking) that peeked just above its rough-hewn surface like new growths of spring through a winter snow. Emboldened—a plastic sword in one hand, held high and kissed by the sun, and Youth for a shield in the other, a battle cry, fearsome and loathing, escaped his pink lips, claiming what little was his (and everything that wasn’t)—its resonance, lost in the surrounding expanse of harvested barley fields, littered with chaff and cigarette butts from passing cars.

As a heralding thunder rolled in the distance, hazel eyes searched the summoning horizon for portents, signs of castles (and dragons) he could conquer beyond the ruins of his dying kingdom and dying queen, finding nothing but the billowy black of a closing road and hints of wet earth, disturbed by the fall of a heated rain. Seeing its glitter fade with the noon sun, he and his valiant steed abandoned their vain quest—never started—and returned home to the cold comfort of their crumbling halls---Truth weighing heavily upon frozen brows—to put away his toys and beat the Golden Bell’s call to jubilee.





Lay me down

just beyond the back porch,

where the pomegranates grow—

a stone for my pillow,

grass and pink evening primrose for a quilt—

beneath playful trickles of sunlight,

sieving through branches,

that dance

to the burden

of those fateful red globes.

How I could pass these languorous days

lost in shadow plays

cast upon these eyelids too heavy with sleep—

quiet tumults

of mists and stars

that stretch and fade into


to the familiar knells of horned larks

that ring from behind

blush and yellow blooms

of lantana trees just beyond the gate.

Or to roll, smooth, pebbles and twigs,

caress the backs of shiny, black beetles,

between cold fingertips

dug deep into wet earth,

conjuring up ambrosial moments,

like ghosts,

of the taste of that sweet, red nectar—

those wanton streams of warm


that dribbled down my tongue,

my throat,

my chin,

onto countless white t-shirts

and crotches

of patched jeans,

leaving me forever wanting

(forever stained)

and feasting on shade.



…just maybe,

one day you’ll come along, take a bite and say,

“Hey, David’s tasting good this year.”





Gold crowns, so eas’ly

snatched by morning star’s glamours.

Youth, a fickle weed.



David Estringel is a writer/poet with works have appeared in The Opiate, Azahares, Cephalopress, North Meridian Review, and DREICH. His first collection of poetry and short fiction Indelible Fingerprints was published April 2019, followed by three poetry chapbooks, PuncturesPeripherieS, and Eating Pears on the Rooftop (coming Summer 2022).

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