Saturday 9 April 2022

Four Poems by Ed Ahern


The Fall Stream

I walk along a fall stream,

the slower, shallower currents

run clear, the bones of the river

reflecting up into the sky.

The turbidities have flushed,

the casket lid of ice is unformed,

the turbulences and pairings

that lead to damaging excess

have receded into memory.

The lingering calm will hopefully

flow beneath the winter storms.



Ghosts are not persons.

They’re the haunting echoes

of encounters and confrontations,

of passions and hatreds with those

once close to whom we refuse death,

the reverberations of intense identity

with our lives that we cannot neglect.

We are our own apparitions.


Re Steve 

He died too young and lived not well enough.

His judgement often overcome by need,

his journey punctuated by rebuff,

his hopes contorted by decree.


His children think of him, perhaps, sometimes.

Coworkers never pull him into thought

except perhaps to recollect his crimes.

His friends among the living few and fraught.


And I, perhaps his closest friend had left

And in the moving shuttered off our lives,

unmindful of his being more bereft

amid the cuts of disappointing knives.


His living and his passing sank unread

except for we who knew the modest dreams

he chased without attainment until dead,

a voyager swept away by swirling streams.


Cross Talk

Pets talk to their people

in pantomime with sound effects.

Not the lower order captives-

snakes and rabbits and falcons.

They view us as feeding stations.

But the dogs and monkeys, and horses

cats and pigs and maybe bears

all are able to tell us off.


Not in words, for to them

words are just carriers of emotion.

But they know the gooey sounds

of human to animal affection,

the threatened punishment

in loud and harsh staccatos,

and the body language which

means they’re being lied to


And they talk back to us

in silent movie pantomime

of raised hackles and arched backs

paired with yowls, howls and purrs

and occasional bites and scratches.

We learn slowly, but eventually

we can know their mood

in a single glance.

Ed Ahern resumed writing after forty odd years in foreign intelligence and international sales. He’s had over three hundred stories and poems published so far, and six books. Ed works the other side of writing at Bewildering Stories, where he sits on the review board and manages a posse of nine review editors.


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