2 poems by Mark Waldron


The Culling


They let the poets loose

close by Walla Brook


a joyless spot

on the windswept joyless moor


They’re given a head start


and they scatter out in every direction

searching hopelessly


for some kind of cover

as we fly up from Plymouth



And then we shoot them with hunting guns

from our little swarm of choppers



Every dead poet’s worth the same amount

in cash reward


though bagging a lauded one

earns more prestige


and might even garner a grin

and high-five from your pilot


(They make slow and easy targets

the important ones

being plump on cheap illustriousness)



We go for a clean kill each time


not wanting to have our quarry splutter

flowery last words into the boggy ground


or blubbing

cry-baby heartfelt last words


or worse still

something abstruse and urgent


No a nice spicy head-shot is certainly preferred

as they swerve and duck


across the gaping wide terrain


A little pink bloom in the air

bursts like a sunset cloud

where the side of a head had been


O happy blossoming


Yes I was a poet too before I was a hunter



The Goldilocks Zone


I don’t even like my own taste in anything


my petty predilections


I hate what I like


the fever that comes off it

the inveigling smooch


birds


chocolate


trees


children


art


I hate these things that I like



They promenade with us and the sunshine and the others

who orbit

like planets with their various atmospheres and their surfaces


and their hot and icy regions


and their tell-tale revolutions


These things I like: this this and also this




and this and this and this


They smell so smug and so dewy because I like them I like them all over

all the way round to the other side



I put them in my mouth

and suck them


I have one here now on my tongue


You can touch it


Oh pardon me

It’s you


___________________


Mark Waldron’s fourth collection, 'Sweet, like Rinky-Dink' was published by Bloodaxe Books in 2019. He was selected as a Next Generation Poet by the Poetry Book Society in 2014.