Les Wicks



Each garden has a secret
the answer is bones.
Oh we quarry
this slavering moon
an idealised fullness
find Germans,
the nameless Russian hoarded
& those bright American teeth
that grin, saying nothing
but Happy Christmas!
Cambodians can pile their bones
Vietnamese knit them, everywhere
the soil is some greedy maw
that accepts nothing less.

Bricks sooth in the edges of a frightful sky, tidy
all are consoled with mud
beside an impertinent stream. Perimeter is a solace.

We are just extraordinary
don’t you feel it?
Our precise ferocity
the exponential appetites
then careful folding of loam
into vicious squares.

Dig them up
the most irrelevant heroes
on we go
with hoe & holocaust.
Silver medals chip carbon sequestration blood soil
the oil
we wonder at those vacant cheque-books
our browbeaten gods of plenty
have fallen in the muck
still we chuck
our prayers upon the stairs.

The modern warrior wears a bowtie & chopstick shoulders.
I stand aside.
Don’t listen to the ancients
spurting fun & happiness.
Would have killed myself
but hardly worth the effort,
gone so far already, sturdy boots
through the squalor of history. Stand at the door of love
but cannot knock. A stupendous
failure is our promise, the very best of outcomes.




Over 35 years Wicks has performed at festivals, schools, prison etc. Published in over 250 different magazines, anthologies & newspapers across 15 countries in 9 languages. Conducts workshops  & runs Meuse Press which focuses on poetry outreach projects like poetry on buses & poetry published on the surface of a river. His 10th book of poetry is Barking Wings (PressPress, 2012).

Promote. Poetry.
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