Jim Bennett – three poems


people are singing in the bar by the station
the lights of the windblown Christmas tree
on the veranda hang like broken strings
no longer looped over the imitation branches

outside people stand on the pavement
shiver in the frost as they smoke
some wrap their arms around themselves
stamp their feet     some wait for a train

in an alleyway two people try to make love
a girl bent over     her hands on a wall
a man pressed up behind her
trousers down to his thighs

a woman’s voice hurry up I’m freezing
a man’s voice keep still then
two others stand at the opening to hide
them and stare out at me

I stop to write in my notebook
I don’t have Charlie as an excuse
so I gaze at a train in the station as I write
pretend to be a train spotter


a new neighbour I don’t know
invites me for drinks
full of smiles and good wishes
I thank him say no thanks
he shrugs     walks off
mutters something

he is the first person
I spoke to this week
probably the last this year
I am ready to tell everyone
I have things to do     I am busy
but no one asks     or phones

even the new neighbour
didn’t really ask me in
he just looked like he would
so I shut the door before
he could come over and ask
people are too damn friendly

the decorations are still up
but everything looks shabby
ready to be dusted     put away
next year I may move to a new place
somewhere no one knows me
where I never put them up again


I was always told
and I told my students
that as a writer the most important thing
was honesty
not truth, that is a different thing
but honesty
so in that spirit
let me tell you
that for years I waited for the post
the small packets
containing a book or magazine
and I would search through them
find what I had written
place them on the special shelf
with all the other books and magazines
that had published me
these days when the post arrives
I set the packages aside to be opened later
the thin envelopes are what I look for
the ones that may have a cheque in
or a bill

Jim Bennett has written 74  books and numerous chapbooks and pamphlets in a 48 year career as a poet, the most recent of which being the cartographer/Heswall (Indigo Dreams, 2013).  Jim lives near Liverpool in the UK and tours giving readings of his work throughout the year.  He is widely published and has won competitions and awards for poetry and performance. He runs Poetry Kit, one of the world’s most successful internet sites for poets.


2 thoughts on “Jim Bennett – three poems

  1. Noel February 19, 2015 / 6:29 am

    Jim, great news – and I love these poems.



  2. conanthelibrarianlondon February 19, 2015 / 5:27 pm

    i like these too, especially the depressive note sounded but not a depressing experience reading just a feeling of weariness in DUST of all the contingent clutter that we cart around

    Liked by 1 person

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