Simon Fletcher

 
 
 
Simon Fletcher lives in Shropshire and is a widely published poet who’s performed his work across Britain and in Pakistan, Germany and Norway. He is currently a ‘Poet on Loan’ in West Midland libraries (Arts Council England-funded) and manager of Offa’s Press (www.offaspress.co.uk). He’s read his work on BBC Radio Shropshire and the BBC Asian Network. He runs monthly live literature events in Wolverhampton and Ironbridge, Telford. He also tutors for the WEA. Author of 4 poetry collections, his most recent, Close to Home, was published by Headland, 2015. (www.simonfletcher.net)

Half Moon
 
She scans the half-way moon
and, though so far away,
it looks like love, she thinks,
in balance, fifty-fifty,
the give and take of friends,
a glass of wine half full.

If on a seesaw they’d
agree to have both feet
set firmly on the ground.

So through the moonlight, miles
away, he stares at this
bisected lemon slice,
wonders what she’s doing
what she sees and feels
this gin-clear autumn night.
 
 
Bee Orchid

Ophrys apifera
 
Never found in the same place
two years together, the bee’s

elusive, hides in full sun
in the shine of summer turf.

A pollen-dusted bumble bee
head down embracing a flower;

custard-streaked chocolate buns,
lavender wings on cocktail sticks.

Jewelled crumbs of a gaudy picnic,
glimpsed once, then lost to view.

It’s almost too outré for words,
we stand amazed, bewildered;

we see and don’t quite believe
a great magician’s honeyed gift.
 
 
Pearl Fishers
 
For Dad
 
So as the traffic slowed, some novelist,
on Desert Island Discs, with his last call
named Bizet’s ‘Pearl’ duet first on his list:
I knew it was your favourite song of all.

“Au fond du temple saint”,* boys see a wife,
a vision of a young goddess, a girl,
but they become professed good friends for life,
in ‘losing’ her, these lads have found a pearl.

Then, unaccountably, a tear rolled down
my cheek (I’m still eyes-strained for lights to turn)
so pondered on the power of love to drown
and without which our puerile hearts can’t learn.

I miss you now far more than you’d believe
and smile about you but, in missing, grieve.

* ‘at the back of the holy temple’
 
 

Memorial
 
The quarrymen are turned to public art;
one stands about to hammer at large stones,
another, hand on hip, observes his mate.

We merely hazard what they thought about
or if they thought at all when simply lost
in the trance of concentration, rocks and loads.

And what of family life? Did they live near,
a wife and children in the village sprawl
that scatters round this worked-out limestone hill?

But here they are, cast iron by the path,
a record of their working lives, these words
a rusting note, memorial of sorts.
 
 
December Blues
 
It’s Christmas soon and in a blink
I drag the tree in from the yard;
it’s raining, dull, no time to think

but on the bank the bluest ink
of periwinkle looms in shards.
It’s Christmas soon and in a blink

I’m quite confused, but cannot wink
at Vinca minor flowering hard;
it’s raining, dull, I need to think.

So is real climate change a link,
a current fad or planet marred?
It’s Christmas soon and, in a blink,

the parties loom, the glasses clink,
but I’m not sure what’s on the cards;
it’s raining, dull, I need to think.

December blues, the sky is zinc;
we haven’t nurtured our back yards.
It’s Christmas soon and in a blink
it’s raining, dull. We need to think.
 
 
Note: According to several British floras, the lesser
periwinkle, Vinca minor, flowers from March-May,
occasionally late summer. It is commonly found on
hedge-banks and in gardens.