Three poems by Simon Williams

First Contact Off The Coast Of Jupiter

 

You say you call this place Europa;

we call it the world.

It’s where we move and are

and where the heat and cold live.

 

Our explorers have moved so far

they returned behind us,

by which we now believe

the world is spherical, like us.

 

When we float up we’re stopped

by lack of therms.

We move too slowly to think.

The medium gets hard.

 

When we sink down we’re stopped

instead by the constant squeeze.

So, we float here mostly,

live our lives, communicate.

 

There are many of us;

1101011100101110010 at the last count

and we are getting more.

There’s plenty of medium;

 

it sustains us well.

We take it in, it helps us move,

but we recirculate it when we’re done,

so it is much the same.

 

We have considered how things

might work in other places;

We have imagined

all manner of possible worlds,

 

but, when you arrived we were amazed

by your intricacies, the shapes

you make, your many

acute vibrations.

 

You say you come from beyond

the cold. A word you use,

‘outside’, is unknown, something

we have not considered.

 

So tell us how things are with you,

the way you live, why you have come

and tell us of your world.

Is it smooth? Is it wonderful?

 

Apparition of Face And Fruit Dish On A Beach

 

It started with bananas: the way the ends snap off

and pull the peel, three or four strips of skin,

the furrowed fingers inside. Next came peaches,

which needed a knife, and grapes, red and green,

with seeds in both. I ate the seeds.

 

Soon, there was little but problems passing

greengrocers, expulsion from the still-life class.

Now I live on the beach, where few apples reach me,

just the occasional washed-up fish

from the never-ending tides.

 

Someone once said ‘You’ll wind up looking

like a fruit bowl’. There’s prescience.

My domed forehead could be frosted glass,

my eyes, vessels for juice. I wish a linen napkin

to wipe my chin, to keep stains off the white sand.

 

Jabberwocky 2: This Time It’s Personal

 

And as in calloohed joy they danced

A Jabberwock, the dead beast’s dear,

Sat by the body, sliced and lanced

And bawled through hissing tears.

 

O travesty! O calumny!

Say who has slain my mimsy friend,

Who only ever wiffled free

And burbled as he went?

 

Now see the Jabberwock, small man –

The claws that catch, the jaws that bite –

See how I plan to take the hand

That snatched away his might.

 

She found the knight upon the path.

They fought. By frumious ploy,

She snapped the vorpal blade in two,

Likewise the slithy boy

 

And when she’d slain the outgrabed knight

She turned and left his head in place.

She gyred and gimbled through the mire,

Long cursed his uffish race.

 

“Twas brillig and the slithy toves

Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:

All mimsy were the borogoves

And the mome raths outgrabe.”

 

Simon Williams

 

Simon Williams lives on the edge of Dartmoor and writes for a living and as a passion. Some of it is poetry, where he’s happy to experiment with different genres, styles and subjects. The serious stuff tends to go into books. The lighter stuff tends to get performed. This may change.

 

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