September 20, 2017 Poetry , POETRY / FICTION

Seb Barsoumian photo



Stephen Philip Druce



God Save Our Gracious Streets



Tattooed necks,

tatty boots, staggering

wrecks in filthy tracksuits,


the discarded old, a

swearing child, shuffle

in the cold through

rubbish piled,


moaning queues, the

jobless bitter, doggy do’s –

the traffic shitter,


pavement cyclists in

chewing gum flavour,

litter strewn – anti-social



apathy – misery, rain-

drenched souls, no space

or parking place, road works

and pot holes,


subjugated – grateful, we

love our palace queen, her

subjects can aspire to the

council house dream,


as the downtrodden march

to the food bank in their

fleets, I sing to myself


“god save our gracious streets.”





It’s The Way – It’s Not The Thing



It’s not about

the mechanism – it’s

all in the balance.


It’s not on any c.v. or

profile – style,


it’s the graceful in

the prize, not

the g-force in

the rise, but

the way it flies,


it’s the timing – the

poise – a sublime touch,


it’s the rhyming and

the rhythm, but

not too much,


it’s not how incisive but

how it all glides – the

shuffle – the ballet,

the ebb and flow tides,


it’s not about

the winning or

the loudest bird to sing,


it’s the cadence not

the power, it’s the way –

it’s not the thing.








“If I were a colour,

what would it be?”

she said frivolously.


In retrospect I didn’t

detect the invitation to



I hadn’t considered my

hasty reply that surely

wouldn’t matter.


But my answer unwittingly

sealed our fate – and why

I can’t extrapolate, but

I said “red” – “oh no”

she said deflated – her

olive green compliment not



I should have said

“gold” – a colour so

precious like this

girl I should have



but I’d been too

impulsive and red

was said – the colour that

left her cold.





A Journey Blessed



May the courage of

your footsteps tread

upon the light of

wisdom that guides

you through the

darkness on your

chosen path.


And as you walk

the good earth,

may you have the

strength to carry all

your hopes and

expectations, until

the day they are






Just Like Them



They wished for a baby boy:












triumphant, but

the boy turned out

to be just like them.






Damn fools.

Who else goes

into the mix?





I Give My Heart



Desert diamonds clamour

in ocean sky

ants ablaze,


lustrous to blacken tricks

enamour – riddles feast

my carcass to gaze,


cacophony skulls of

orchestras beckon my

sweet guitar to swallow –


my pulse a trusted backbeat,

for the skeletons to follow,


with floating arms and

lucky palms I climb

the sky ship sea,


with ribbons and scars

I give to the stars – my heart –

they’ll never hurt me.





A Ghost Reflection



A ghostly

figure lay

upon the

surface of

the lake that

day, for I

could see

through its

reflection down

to the lake



Through the

crystal mirrors

that wobbled to

the lake bed sticks

and cobbles as

I looked out

from the



Through ripples

cracked, waterlines

split and

stacked – a

transparent soul was



but a spirit from

the dead had

not come

back because

the ghost

reflection was






The Big Light



She made a

candlelit dinner but

without thinking he

put the big

light on so he

could see what

he was eating

so she left



Keeping her

happy was like

walking a tightrope

for him,


and the night he

put the big

light on he fell



He hit the

ground, unlike the

falling leaf he

caught when

he placed it in

her palm and asked

her to make

a wish.


He always forgave

her, like a bird

forgives another for


its bread.


And as he flew

alongside her, he

wondered how

passing clouds could

find their way



He would talk

about how the sun

and the rain could

make pretty rainbows –


the colours of

the flowers on

the icy hill he

climbed to pick

for her.


He was a romantic

man, but without

thinking he put the

big light on so

he could see what

he was eating – so

she left him.


Finished her



blew out

the candles and


left him.






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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