Stephen Bone – four poems


Like something
you might find encased
in a paperweight’s glass

or snorkel over,
shimmering angelfish
in tow.

Ruby Slippers, Red Ink,
Pale Rainbow, each name
an exact fit

for these wetland lovers,
for a luckless gnat
or damselfly;

each primed leaf
sprouting quills
tipped with a glittery deceit,
a viscous hell

disguised as a dewy heaven.

Victorian Jet

In the jeweller’s window,
an assortment of Victorian jet,

brooches and lockets
laid out

on a velvet tray,
like small fossils

of grief.


Coaxed into flower by a May full moon,
you bloom for just one night,

busy tropical air with a scent

more pineapple than floral.

hawkmoths for miles around,
desperate to reach

your nectar offering, petals
opened to a laundered freshness,

white as seed pearls or the pallor
of a short-lived heroine.

Titan Arum

Colossus of Sumatran forests,
who’ll have no truck with honey bees, fritillaries;

with a stench of rotted corpse

tempt sexton beetles, flesh flies,
grim connoisseurs of carrion,

into sultry powder rooms.
A hothouse sellout, crowds swarmed

to your once in a blue moon flowering,
on your arrival at Kew.

Frock coated gentlemen turned crimson
as your pleated spathe,

at your raw priapic show,
while whale boned matrons pressed

to their faces fragranced silk,
to mask a surging thrill.

Stephen Bone’s work has appeared in magazines in the U.K. and U.S.
His first collection, In The Cinema, was published Playdead Press in 2014.
A pamphlet, Plainsong, is due from Indigo Dreams Publishing later in 2017.


Stephen Bone – three poems


Dropped off on Sunday afternoons
we’d brave doorsteps of fish paste,
wince at Rose’s lime, dream of Coke
and pizza, something then.

Afterwards cards in her front room,
ivy chintz clambering over chairs and walls,
windows veiled with net, the television
never on, except when time to lap up the worst.

Her decibels rising with her Embassy’s
blue smoke as looking far beyond
her dealt hand she would shriek.
Cheat! Cheat! Cheat!

after Michael Laskey

I feed it oily fish
rich in omega 3.

I stomach porridge
for its sake.

Virtuously I take a garlic pearl
with my green tea.

Red rare steaks now
replaced with Quorn,

skimmed instead
of full fat.

What further supplement
does its diet need ?


Today a gypsy
sold me a sprig
of white heather,

I gave her silver,
she pushed
for paper.

Not surprising,
inflation rampant.
Luck’s prices rising.

A version of “Inflation” was published in Krax in 2004.

Stephen Bone has been published in various journals in the UK and US, most recently in Ink, Sweat & Tears. His debut collection In The Cinema (2014), was published by Play Dead Press and can be purchased online here.