Poems by Pete Spence

Simple Haste
i take myself to be smarter than i look!
having said that this seems a time 
i needed a dressing down! next thing 
i know i’ve got a sun tan! & lazing  
under a capable hush my eardrum 
almost bursts from the effervescence!   
but i escape via the simple haste of  
a flannel car that i’d parked in my jacket 
pocket just in case of such an aerated
emergency! my jacket will not be easy
placated by this feverish abscondment  
though without a map i’m probably 
not meeting my jacket again as i  
continue hurtling around this roundabout!



Waking Fast.

in my dream i was nowhere to be found
i took to waking fast    dull light
the morning is moody side down    i’m
breathing    fully awake    breakfast
coffee muddy side up    now i get to do
this & do that again!    blocks of colour
everywhere    monuments of tones
shades of light growing nice shadows
the depths are in focus    the weight
of each shadow deepening against
the sun    read    sneeze    jot some
notes    sitting quietly doing nothing
the prints of darkness settle in    it’s
evening! the rest of the world unfolds

winter    the dawn has a lid on it    waking fast
the lid stays on    no Perrier! no Badoit! coffee low!
today i know the meaning of a cashless society!
got to roll with that!    the clouds come rolling in
like balls of snow    it’s 10:15 a.m. & the cloud’s
breaking up    great balls of light as the sun rolls
through    the edges circling the air    11:20 a.m.
the wind suddenly drops & rolls into a corner
cornered!    i’m cornered!    the afternoon rolls
in slowly    if this is what is called “being on a roll”
then it has another thing coming!    somewhere
in the shadows evening waits    what can be
known about evening?    as armfuls of night
ease in     & the emergency of dreams

dawn    a rain that reigns all morning
having woken fast i’m watching the vast
drizzle of it    at ends to wonder what
could be wetter!    i’ll wash my hands of it!
read    sneeze    jot some notes    try
lunch!    peel an orange!    sitting quietly 
doing nothing my coffee goes cold
the shadows are laying low    stalled
in dampness    no sun to focus    this
douses that    muddy instances moody
side down    i remember sunshine i mumble
i remember I Remember!    i remember
yesterday! will i remember tomorrow?
what is evening? where is night? i ponder

mid June    frozen in time!    early    weak sun
strong coffee    the answer to waking fast?
ponder the far off silhouette of lunch?    sneeze
read    watch the wind unfurl    the edges circling
the air    the whirl doesn’t spend a moment
away from its shadow    blocks of colour
shades of light    this tepid swirl is sunshine?
dissolves!    a quick sidestep & morning’s over
lunch dissolves!    could June dissolve?    fragments
of a reclining afternoon dissolve    do this jot
that    lost for words resolve to sit quietly
the simpering sunshine goes over the hill
without question i’m cornered by the matte tones
of night     waiting the availability of dawn



Big Dry
now that
global warming
is here
my pagophagia
is waning & i’m
polishing my oar
the snow drifts
change to sand
before my oar
dies of thirst
i must quickly
find some water
it would be
easy to order
in a dust storm
to clean the rocks
but right now
i must find water
then night settles
a grey mist
like sandpaper
rasps across
the crumbling grass
still no sign of water 
in the blue
clutter of memory
a distant
sound of dripping
is recalled
but no water
white piled up
orbs in the sky
bounce off the hills
with great friction
it seems without
need for water
in these fields
of hysteria i’d
swipe some music
from the very air
if it would lead
to water
the woods are darker
than the trees
maybe i should
smite some rocks
or bounce echoes
around a valley
sweating & glowing
with a ferric tinge
the search is 
thoughtful otherwise  
its dry elusive no
cloud in the sky
i moodily perplex
someday my oasis
will come & the sky
will shine blue
to the distance
a shimmering mirage
in the scheme
of things maybe
you can lead
an oar to water
but can you
make it drink!
(pagophagia: the compulsive eating of ice)



a whirlwind of rough ablutions    that’s mud
in your eye!    awake to a sentence of rain
coffee    muddy side up    the day unfolds
i like the creases    dabs of moody light    
how much rain can pile up in one backyard
as the sky continues to let loose as if all 
the ropes of winter had completely unravelled 
across this patch of sky?    spring in the wings
lunch in the wings    morning on the wing
it’s Bastille Day & Perrier Fever is catching
the French doors too are open demustifying
the room    where’s the Quinine you ask
no Badoit?    et le soleil aussi?    as the rain
continues compiling notes    scribble scribble