Chris Hemingway – three poems

How it Starts

as a prompt,
a current,
mis-spelt glances
borrowed words.
Like a spot of dust,
surrounding itself with ice.
Which will melt,
unless chilled to paper.

But writing “a snowflake”
isn’t easy.
“It’s like this” you say,
tracing honeycomb webs with your fingers.
And hail is harder still,
attention-seeking.
tapping at the tightwound windows,

So you document the flakes and stones,
and hope to be discovered,
stored and catalogued,
in a prestigious freezer.


5.45 pm, The Cross

Neustift Goats have gone.
Now it’s more tumbleweed
than artisan cheese.

Terry lifts up his collar
to keep out the rain.
Thinks about Susan, and the evening ahead,
the Early Bird Special at the Korma Chameleon.

Each passer-by is darkened by the dusk,
he tries to find the middle ground
between alertness and eye contact.
Cashpoint vigilance.

He glances down
at the rainbow streaks in the gutter.
And wonders what a diesel spill
is doing in a pedestrian zone.


The Twist

“Ok,” he said,
“we could dream of childhood homes.
Till some miserable vicar
bashes on the cell door
with a bible and breakfast.

We could hide from shadows
in misty mansions,
or oddly-magnetised islands.
More haunted than haunting.

I could be a giant statue
buried in the sand .
As you approach
with a horse and loincloth.”

“Steady on mate,”
she said,
“I was only asking you for a dance.
It goes like this.”


Chris Hemingway is a poet and songwriter from Cheltenham, Gloucestershire. He has self-published two collections on lulu.com: The Future, a prose collection, and Cigarettes and Daffodils, a compilation of song lyrics and poetry.

He is on the organising Board for Cheltenham Poetry Festival and co-runs the Squiffy Gnu blog and Facebook poetry prompt group.

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