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2 poems by Sam Smith

Mock Sonnet VII

To be free of off-hand malice we follow the semi-

floating flight of a long-tailed magpie, occasional

whistle of a collar dove's wings, break step at sight

of bottle and dented cans tossed among pathside

nettles; which have us feeling pursued even here

by the same careless malevolence. So we make

ourselves look to the tree-top church of unseen

birds, listen to their vocabulary of tweets and

cheeps, note a bush-hidden robin trickling out

its watery song; and somewhere way above

the repetitive mewl of a circling buzzard

and the rumbling croak of a raven still seeking

the wished-for corpses of the vindictive and

neglectful who have brought us to this end.

Mock Sonnet XXI

On this overcrowded globe, houses

and shacks shoulder to shoulder,

or stacked one atop the others, no space

now to raise high the roof beams,

palms can be flattened on most ceilings

of the new-builds here – designed

for a people with no history, or

for narcissists with their inflated

notion that they are making their own.

Inhabitants of old houses know

that they are but the latest of many

who have passed through, their new

accidents, finger daubs, spills and stains

adding to the patina of future's past.


Sam Smith is editor of The Journal magazine and publisher of Original Plus books.

Author of several novels and collections of poetry, he presently lives in Blaengarw,

South Wales.


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