June 8, 2017 Poetry , POETRY / FICTION


Reuters photo



Stephen Philip Druce




The Gardener And The Rose



The gardener felt

inferior to the rose.


The rose, with its natural

beauty for portraits –

a blazing jewel in the dirt,


flaming without fire,

ice cool for the burning sun,


alluring to the bees, its sweet

perfumed scent, its eagle petals

that swooned with clutched

un-spilt raindrops, bestowed

from ballet clouds.


Then one day the rose got

too old. The gardener wept as

he cut it down –


the rose with the inferior soul.





The Murmur Of The Goose Machine



Behind the shuttered rapture

the raconteur pours a diamond sun.


Did you hear the murmur

of the goose machine?


As you slinked astride rackety

fruit stall – gorged on shrieked

spleen to its riotous belly,


did you clamour to such book flesh,

as trumpeting foxes leapt from

dead chapters on paper horses?,


did you warn the night fox

of the snapped twig?


For the storm preacher, did you

run with drumming hounds upon

drunken daisies splashed in carnival wine?


Or did you turn and face

the dust in the cruel wind?





Don’t Let Me Go



When last

candle dusty,


when forgotten

clocks stop,


when the last

mandolin plays to

the last rusted



When church

bells fall in silence,

when wishing well

coins decay,


when the wizened

once joyful children

would on frozen lakes

loudly play.


Where tree rings in

open severed – their mortal

leaves in feathered weep,


when the goodbye

sodden tiger dries in

faded penned to sleep.


When my softly

seared to embers,

as the curtains close

the show,


til the sun devours

your final hours – til then

don’t let me go.





Wedding Nausea



Anywhere but here – but I am.

I am a wedding guest.


With my death the only

legitimate excuse for my

absence, I attend the church

ceremony under duress.


I stand dutifully, singing a

hymn I don’t recognise, among

an unspiritual congregation of

penguin-suited, pink-tied,

carnation-wearing twits with

personalities so hideously square

I feel unwell.


The bride is late, but the groom

had better not be, or the bride

may display public hysterics in a

wedding dress – a dress so

aesthetically pleasing she dare not

wear it more than once.


The father of the bride gives his

daughter away as if she were a

second hand car – a spectacle so

grotesque I have to close both eyes.

The only upside to the phoney bash

is that the church keeps the rain out.


The best man’s speech anecdote –

based on the occasion the groom left

his sandwiches on the train, prompts

wild guffawing as artificial as the wedding

cake: a sickly souvenir cake meticulously

created, but wouldn’t tempt the taste buds

of a starving orphan.


Some of the guests are unloved – never

been loved. Nevertheless, obliged to express

their unbridled joy for the newly weds, obliged

to grace their pretentious protocol party while

simultaneously restraining their own impending








stephen philip druce

Stephen Philip Druce

Stephen Philip Druce is a poet from Shrewsbury in the U.K. He has previous publications with The Playerist, Cake, Muse Literary Journal, Ink Sweat And Tears, The Inconsequential, The Taj Mahal Review and Spokes.


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