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Published by Fire Agate Press, 2017-07-31 08:35:30

Waving at Strangers


Keywords: poetry

Waving at Strangers
© MMXVII All Rights Reserved
Ken W. Simpson
ISBN: 978-1-927593-62-2
Published by Fowlpox Press
Layout: Paris Pâté


A coin in the jukebox
Spinning discs
‘Can you remember
when we first met?’
Plaintive yearnings
Faded faces
‘We thought we were free
scornful of authority’.

At a cafe
‘That summer I saw you
barefoot in the moonlight
impatient for love’
A ceiling fan
Coffee stains
In between
two pairs of eyes.

A Degree of Propinquity

Memories of old friends
and fade as glimpses
of familiar faces
names and places
an approaching pram
a car rolling slowly
down a driveway
towards the street
where moods of sadness
beguiled by moments
of hypothetical happiness.

A Mix of Chaos and Bliss

Malevolence snarls
between scenes
of animosity
and explosive rage
before dissolving
into bequests ‘
to imagined friends.

A Mote in the Sky

The gaping sky
enfolds the night
where eyes
gloomily gaze
from the pavement
to puddles
melancholy mirrors
reflecting features
and thoughts
that drown
where memories end.

A Preview of Posterity

The winter sun glowed
exempt from empathy
deceptively diplomatic
and stern
but with little concern
for fragile friendships
melancholy moments
on glabrous leaves
between the branches
of tenebrous trees.

Amicable Animals

The feeble glow
of yesterday’s myths
and illogical legends
drift into obliquity
where the pallid shapes
of old friendships
with a splash o flight
in the pursuit of profundity.

Anecdotal Ghosts

The day began with rain
deceptively diplomatic
gratuitously gay
and indecently urbane.

Pretentiously profound
troughs of empty words
and genuine lies
were resurrected a regrets.

A montage of memories
wraiths of old flames
blue bruises
and the scent of decadence.

The oratory of deceit
decanted as romance
with expectations of bliss
deceitful as a kiss.

As You Were

A clock chimed half past nine
leaving images behind
on eyeballs
of grass growing in a park
bloated joys
and the buzz of love
swimming like tadpoles
in a goldfish bowl.


The mind feeds
on loneliness and dreams
collapsing scenes
and paradoxes
unable to penetrate
the invisible wall
where contradictions
jump from hope to fear
separated by barriers
of confusion and exclusion.

Bones Don’t Decompose

A private party
an artificial glow
people chatting
the vain and the beautiful
exchanging platitudes
until moods swing
to accusations and profanity.

Candle Eyes

The branches
of a candelabra tree
loom over a fountain
spouting up
then tumbling down
upon a frog
solemnly squatting
in the center of the pool
pale reflections
dance across the water
dark and deep
in the glow of a lunar night.

Casino Nights

Electric light
covers avenues
of midnight trees.

throwing dice.

They move
and wander
between themes
of obscure dreams.

Passing time
For tender flesh.

Barbecued pork.

The curve of a female form.


Mary crumpet
and Chocolate candy
grew wings
and began to fly.

They floated
through a window
over a garden
into the world outside.

Just by thinking
they rested on clouds
or flew
to distant lands.

Finally they dived
from a mountain top
and awakened
to a gentle full stop.


A detour through the desert
where husbands
with empty eyes
discard their wives
as auto wrecks
left to rot
in a breeding ground
to incubate and evolve
as narcissists, concubines
and corporate criminals.

Cold Horizons

Meaningless words
unfocused as thoughts
exempt from empathy
impatient for fame
deceptively invested
in deceit
flowering successfully
in a harvest of weeds.

Collapsing Sand Castles

Innocent days
Tranquil moments
Introspective interludes
Playing games
Scenes you’ll never see
The weight of emptiness
Dogmas and doctrines
The enigma of love
Ephemeral truths
The pattern of waves.


Crowded clouds
in a grubby sky
when yesterday died
by lonely ladies
and manicured men
melancholy as cellos
soulfully hoping
with artificial equanimity
for the bliss of salvation.

Contented Breezes

A glorious summer dawning
over the awakening bay
serene blue wavelets
rolling, flowing.

A canoe slides by
speeding launches
head out to sea
the sky peers down
through wispy clouds
wafted by a caressing breeze.

A tanned lady
strides resolutely by
her long, dark hair
flying behind
preceded by a Labrador
regally trotting
as gulls swoop
and excitedly scream.


Evoking the taste
of red tomatoes
at meal times
in the empty solitude
of an afternoon
and reviewing
yesterday’s memories.

A captive mind
as the past erupts
in a crowded room
and reflections
from an incandescent sky
under an arch of cerulean blue.

My Dear Old Nana

A sad tale
of my poor aunt Nell
to a life of drudgery
caring for
her wheelchair bound
disabled mom
who became
a screaming banshee
of a bed-ridden burden
treating Nell
as a slave or servant
until late in life
she met and married
a tugboat skipper
and stood up to Nana
by sending her into care
where eventually she died
unloved and unlamented.

Now the Future

A stark tree
bleached ghostly white
against an ashen sky
with colored lights
and lace draped
around beckoning branches
to seek salvation
in the garden of regrets.

Prelude and Fugue

waiting for a train
take shelter
from the rain.

fleetingly meet
slyly wondering
prim and grim.

Shy, sightless
reflections in pools
as dead carnations.


Eyes inside
introspective, reticent
observe the garden
shimmering in the sun
through windowpanes
on the other side of yesterday
when the grass
was covered with autumn leaves.

Passing By

Thorny thickets
of wild blackberries
flourishing unnoticed
by disinterested transients
on a highway
trying to stay alive
overwhelmed by sadness
guileless glances
and cold embraces.

Problems with Infinity

It’s not easy to see
the traitor’s smile
garnished with guile
or understand
the wish to wander
without friends to forget
dimly perceiving
through the mists of ignorance
themes from dreams
appearing momentarily
before focusing
on cultures of evil
amid the detritus.


Weird ethereal sounds
somewhere in outer space
funereal in the scented air
where mere mortals
ogled by demented ghouls
clad in shrouds and party hats
as an urbane undertaker
draped in black
no deposit interest free
immediately available
for the bereaved
or for the thrifty
the nifty low interest
heavenly installment plan.


yellow, pink and blue
probe surreal faces
shining eyes
and waving arms
to a relentless rhythm


An academic artist
old, and long forgotten
wearing a beret
began to sketch
a facsimile
of his tonsured head.

A fine craftsman
of the old school
his lines
began to reproduce
and writhe
all over the page.

He gazed amazed
as they tried to flee
only the fittest survived
to scramble back inside
the old man’s mind.

Sea Urchins

Sculpted by the tides
Cold embraces
Marble faces
Listless tides
Aged groynes
Coy condolences
Melancholy cries
Waves from strangers.

The sky was cobalt blue
seagulls floated
or landed on damp sand
beside the sea
over the footprints
of passing feet.

Dark filaments of weed
lay drying
near tiny shells
and jellyfish blobs
below the lumpy beach
where bodies lay supine
somnolent in the heat.

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