Two Poems by Simon Williams

Helping My Son on a Saturday

I helped you with the fridge.
Although I’d cleaned it,
it had to go,
so we loaded it in the camper,
drove through town,
proved we lived in Plymouth
(though we don’t)
and left one item
of hazardous waste.

we chose a new toilet seat.
We could have had MDF,
(the cheapest)
one with a seaside scene,
(the most expensive)
but went for one in white ash.
You demonstrated a new design
of nylon bolt to fix it with.
I was impressed.

we tried to kill the smell
of cat piss, even though
you never had a cat.
We cleaned the carpet,
fitted new air fresheners,
wondered if we’d inadvertently
shut in a stray,
would find a desiccated body
if we searched long enough.

Wednesday, Gone Noon

One person, who’d died the night before,
wasn’t the one that night.
Even the ghosts were applying
for Irish citizenship.

Street lights are by no means all sodium,
some are daylight in a box.
A storm, let’s call it Oswald,
is already fiddling with the trees.

A cat sneezes, the devil when
you’re on the hunt. The Prime Minister
has lost her voice again.
The fairy lights have shone since Christmas.

Anthracite still burns in many
cottage grates. A hundred years ago
the village smelt mainly of sulphur.
The railway carriage is now a restaurant.

Cliffs are where two swathes of land
no longer get on. Someone backed
into the rear door of our van.
The front tyre pressures need checking.


Simon Williams has eight published collections, his latest being a co-authored pamphlet with Susan Taylor, The Weather House, published in 2017 by Indigo Dreams. Simon was elected The Bard of Exeter in 2013, founded the large-format magazine, The Broadsheet and produced the well-received PLAY Anthology. He has created the science poetry show, Cosmic

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