Tuesday 26 April 2022

Five Poems by Sharon Larkin




Lying in the post-dawn glare through drawn curtains

I first hear it in my right ear. Not tinnitus, no, not that.


A machine-generated morse, too fast to copy, impossible

to record and slow down for later transcription, far more


complex than dot dot dot, dash dash dash, dot dot dot

on fast repeat. Not a terse message, sent as a burst


not fast enough for that. No, someone is trying

to message me through the fillings in my molars –


an alien transmission from light years in the past

to say ‘We are here’ and to ask ‘Where are you?’



   on The Chair Factory at Alfortville by Henri Rousseau


Someone has left a giant's chair at the edge of the water,

big enough for the owner to sit in and soak his corns

or bend down and scoop up crustaceans for breakfast.

A little fisherman, with rod and bait at the wharfside,

has been casting his line all night, catching nothing

and now this neo-Goliath is in position on his throne,

laughing as he lands all manner of piscatorial delights.

A lady watches from the promenade, lips smacking,

Her long tongue whiplashes out, like a chameleon

catching flies. She snatches crayfish from the Titan.

They stick to tastebuds as if drawn to a Velcro magnet.

She gulps down the raw flesh, pincers still snapping,

burps and chortles as the big man secretly weeps.

In Transit


The detonation first – and then the portal

locks at the echoing retort. He swivels,

watches the wheel spin clockwise to seal

the tunnel behind him. It begins to feel

like a submarine now, as aftershocks rock

the walls and his innards begin to shake.

Festoons of spiders' hammocks dance

above his head, wafting into the distance.

It’s dark but he can see the ghostly webs

well enough, as shivers break his trance.

With a galloping pulse, he takes a chance

to inch ahead, one man's tentative steps,

as the arachnid cribs continue to oscillate,

fade from dawn grey to the dead of night.



The female blackbird lands,

head cocked, on the lawn,

waits for more of her victim

to emerge. A millimetre more

and she drags a writhing worm 

from heavy clay, flies to the nest.


A male kingfisher perches

on an overhanging branch,

watches for lunch to turn up.

With a twitch and a snatch 

he swipes the stickleback,  

takes it home for the chicks.


The man in the suit shuffles   

along on his way to the office,

not anticipating anything

outlandish to disrupt his day,

until he’s located, monitored, 

sampled, analysed, assimilated.

Managed Invasion


You asked about our latest insertion.

Next to the second post on the right,

you'll find them, alongside the footpath.


Sorry, we can't say which footpath.

You should be able to work it out

for yourself. Think about it.


Each of them will be lying

under a well-preserved fossil

that we are careful to turn over.


They’ll become cribs, cocoons,

little tumuli, henges, whatever,

to keep them dry, out of view


until the appointed time. Kids

don't collect gryphaea now

so the shells won’t be disturbed.


If you work out where they are,

you may, of course, look at them

but do replace the devil's toenails


after you have observed

what they are harbouring.

We won't activate them for a week


so you still have a little time

to track down their whereabouts

before they go walkabout.

Sharon Larkin’s poems often begin with a visual stimulus but soon become ‘infected’ with psychosocial concerns, as is evident from her poems in ‘Interned at the Food Factory’ (Indigo Dreams, 2019), ‘Dualities’ (Hedgehog Poetry Press, 2020) and over 200 poems in anthologies, magazines and e-zines.

A former civil servant, she now runs Eithon Bridge Publications https://eithonbridge.com, edits 'Good Dadhood’ ezine https://gooddadhood.com and blogs at 'Coming up with the Words' https:/sharonlarkinjones.com.

Sharon has degrees in literature/art history and modern languages, as well as an MA in creative writing. She is proud of her Welsh ancestry and enjoys photography, the countryside and the natural world.

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