Wednesday 24 January 2024

Four Poems by Christopher Fried


Life Turns Tragic for Mr. Charles Beaumont


Wasting away like Walter Jameson,

the faculties depart down the hourglass.

Poor end for The Twilight Zone’s famous son:

only death could break this cruel impasse.

Reality unfolds from science fiction.

Beware!  the shadows overstretch the brain:

Time flits away it all: the plots, the diction,

the commentary, excised without pain.

This macabre scene is such a poignant haunting

for other writers.  Write now, write well!  death

could be around the corner, leaving wanting

your legacy with wheezing swallowed breaths.

Go waste away dark star below weird plane

existence that could make the sane insane.





My children—they know not how real life works,

how truly gold buys only so much love,

and not much more respect. Not that we’re weak,

(I knew weakness before), but chance will oust

a family, perhaps a dynasty.

I saw the embers with my timid father,

I extinguished the flames of a crazed king,

and still the realm learned nothing. It takes fear,

the lion’s roar, an unsheathed sword at times

to order what’s awry. Unpleasant paths

a patriarch must walk, but there are no

regrets for rulers of this crag. Respect

forced is still respect received, and sheep

are still but sheep. This is our legacy!



The Peeled-Back Facts


Our neighbours to the west are just as those

soft lordships situated below the throat

of this raised land. They forget what installed

the oh-so high and mighty to their stations.

It was not faith for better futures. Life

has always been attired with viciousness,

so why deny realities, the frozen hearts

we warm as we clench steel to layered chests?


The truth of this world lies below the skin

I’ve surgically stripped from the bone.

This is something the called lords paramount

have stark forgotten, claimed uncivilized

despite reiterating winter’s claim.

The cold was always here as pressed knives show.



Culture Warrior


Cerebral verse has fled the mind, withdrawn

as Thyrsis left without saying goodbye,

his presence felt beyond the Oxford lawn

and heard on autumn winds as plangent sighs.


New work proclaimed as balderdash is shelved

as fancy of a man who has lost touch

with tough prudential words.  His mind he helved

for prose, while verse he had laid in his hutch.


It fell away as his beleaguered faith

trembled before the rushing tide of doubts,

that terrifying banshee wail which wraiths

in Celtic tales would sputter forth and pout.


As Crassus of the Triumvirate was,

it’s shameful that Matt Arnold has no buzz.

Christopher Fried lives in Richmond, VA and works as an ocean shipping logistics analyst. A poetry collection All Aboard the Timesphere was published in 2013. His novel Whole Lot of Hullabaloo: A Twenty-First Century Campus Phantasmagoria was published in 2020. Recently, he was an advisor on the 1980s science fiction film documentary In Search of Tomorrow (2022).





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