Three Poems by Simon Williams


Aeronauts

The wind is up,
tails are set,
with the long bands twisting,
we launch out to the air field.

The balsa gives
no weight to wind,
less weight than Matt, at seven,
floating over the road.

Tom, like Quixote,
tilts at model planes
with a bright red sword,
the smallest of the group –
like Reepicheep the most honourable.

The wind takes every throw,
strips tails and props
from our stormy games,
sends us crashing down to earth.

Flight fascinates –
light wood in light hands.
Boys will fly too soon
out in the humming air.


Counted Out

When I woke
I’d go to them.
Early-morning;
they were both asleep.

My father brought
me back to bed,
sat with me;
never sang,
never told stories.

He counted –
one to a hundred.
In between
his yawns,
he tried
to stay awake

just long enough
to see me
back to sleep.
My breathing soon
regular as numbers;
I never bettered
eighty seven.

Counted Out was included in Quirks, Oversteps Press, 2006


First Weekend Away
(for Tom)

The strangeness builds on him,
absorbs him and, with it, his expression,
til it’s only his eyes move,
refocusing, flicking the lids down
and coming back blue each time.

I tap the glass and his face awakes;
muscles stretch and pull,
quick as a wink.
He knocks back, in anger,
then bursts to smiles.

The train pulls out.
Inside, he can’t hear the engine;
the coach rolls on like a huge pedal-car.
They wave until their heads are only bright points;
two reflections in a long window.

I think of him, only parted a day
and not for long, can place him anywhere
in this tall house.
At the table, watching TV,
listening to stories.

We think of fear like a darkened room.
I will leave the light on bright,
keep doors a little wider open,
sleep a touch less deep,
in case of a cry, in case of a whimper.

Night is just the join
between two days.
When you wake, all thumbs and thighs,
I’ll watch a little closer
my child, my child.


First Weekend Away (for Tom)  was included in A Place Where Odd Animals Stand, Oversteps Press, 2012



Simon Williams (www.simonwilliams.info) has eight published collections, his latest being a co-authored pamphlet with Susan Taylor, The Weather House (www.indigodreams.co.uk/williams-taylor/4594076848), which has also toured in performance. Simon was elected The Bard of Exeter in 2013, founded the large-format magazine, The Broadsheet, and is currently developing a one-man poetry show, Cosmic Latte. 

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