Weekend Poetry: Sea Memory and other poems


The son of the neighbourhood nazis

made her come, washed her hair,

lit the smooth, white fingers of two tsigára.

These gestures she embraced

like letters hand-delivered from the front.


But there is no front haunting her,

save the Fascist face of Athens’ back-

footed hydra. A clean scalp,

the sterile ash – not so soothing

when recalling her lover’s excuses


stalling. Men will say anything,

will not say anything, if they think

it will get them somewhere.

What would he have her say when face-

to-face with the mother and father –


‘Oh well’ to hatred taking place at home?

What to tell her friends in England

braced for another Victorian Britain?

What to make of Europe turning alien...

Bereft, she thumbs her phone.



Seeing the Pacific for the first time

         taking in the drive-in of the elements


Sun-charmed vapor churning the air

         streaking the sand and the hood of the Ford


Came through Aberdeen

         in the state named after the founding father

               with pioneer and native under wheel


Flickbook outskirts blending into the suburbs

         of a Rorschach fishing town

                  blending into the suburbs’ flickbook outskirts


And unbelievably there they were

          the shore the surf the sea the sky

                  arrayed in strips

                         a Rothko realized



All morning, all afternoon,

this popping sound


coming from the woods.

Not the rhythmic champing


of the tree-feller’s chore,

but a sputtering –


a bubbling, populous hubbub.

It skips over private land


and plays on the ear,

like a child in a shut-down


penny arcade.

Night piles up,


the popping sound

stops, remains.


The next morning – breakfast

of bullets of flesh,


their skins pierced, one

by one, lest a popping sound


disturb the peace.


Humphrey Astley

Enjoyed this article?

Help us to fund independent journalism instead of buying:

Also in Disclaimer

An Italy/Canada trade war is not a joke but a sign of worse to come

Italy’s unholy political alliance of the far-right nationalist Northern League and the anti-establishment Five Star Movement has threatened not to ratify a sweeping European Union trade deal with Canada. They are not alone in their concerns but

The Week on Planet Trump: Celebrating Singapore Summit with Praise for “Tough Guy” Kim

Dona;d Trump's extraordinary sumjmit in Singapore with Kim Jung Un has dominated the news. Only a few months ago mant feared a nuclear war and the two squared up with Twitter insults. Now Trump has lavished praise on the brutal dictator.

Tweet Checking: Corbynite Brexit Quislings, and the Role of Our Elected Representatives

Theresa May on the CHristopher Chope affair; Alex Nunns and the Lexiters on Corbyn's EEA absention; the role of an MP. Just some of the things we check for you.

Common Sense on Britain's Railways

The British commuter is non-ideological: she just wants to get to and from work without wrecking her life. She’s the epitome of a self-interested, common-sense, even aspirational voter that politicians have been courting for decades. The privatisation experiment has failed. Perhaps it is time to put them into public hands.

Weekend Poetry: Three Poems

Poetry from A. M. Juster