One Poem by Sam Smith

Mindlands (1)

This busy 5-way junction, in among black poles topped with red-to-green traffic lights, has a man on the kerb edge standing behind his stomach and sucking on his grey moustache. Cars and vans queue to left and right; stop, go; and stream across, orange sidelights going on and off. This man questions that ‘infinty’ and ‘constant’ can exist only as mathematical concepts. Asks will stars always outnumber the human dead?
Low-fronted cars push their bright, yellow-white lights along the wet-black road towards him. Can this man accept, as another truism, that, if memory equals experience, he will not experience his own death?


Mindlands (2)

A man like Solzenhitsyn, beard under his chin, walking alone on his nodding return from the reed-edged pond, wonders why a golden-eyed duck should be beguiling and a red-eyed duck so off-putting. After all, his pursed lips reason, a duck is a duck is a duck and should engender no emotional response.
Tomorrow he will throw his torn crusts towards the red-eyed duck, and he knows that he will feel, despite conceding its irrationality, that he has performed a benevolent act.


Mindlands (3)

Leaving the shop, newspaper folded and stuck upright into his jacket pocket, this curved thin man ducks and slides away from today’s standing around set of pavement idiots, those who think they are capable of understanding him and so can offer him the sympathy of pity. He has none for himself.
A washed-up never-has-been is what he calls himself, despises both what he was and what he has become. On reaching a safe distance he lets a fart growl out, as if even his arse is angry.



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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