Reclaiming Space Collection

Poems By Alun Robert


“A fundamental concern for others in our individual and community lives would go a long way in making the world the better place we so passionately dreamt of” – Nelson Mandela

All four of my poems are focussed on reclaiming space for humanity.


Not Coming Out Tonite

five-inch Jimmy Choos

scarlet Fifth Avenue ankle-length

arrives through swirling mist

like a phantom en heat

with the swagger of Valentina Sampaio

without expressions of conventional

just confident in the knowledge

his secret remains secure

 

Mostly Elégant

Rang Mother, lover, my grey suited social worker.

They worry about me in most everything I do.

Backcomb my blond wig aided by L’Oréal Pro stiffening

bought from a street vendor without receipt or provenance.

 

Don double-stitch cotton Oxford now frayed at both cuffs.

Two pearlesque buttons missing (thanks to the cat).

Slip on my Consiglia’s edged with Gozo finest bizzilla

like a Hollywood prima donna back in the fifties or sixties.

 

Adjust faded blue Levi’s snugging ankles and calves

with designer knee rips exposing abstract henna tats.

Got to look real cool, have to be trendy, seem tough so

keep my crotch slung low emulating rappers and punks.

 

Put on sparkling Kanye sneakers taking at least ten minutes:

bending down, threading, tugging, tying laces in granny knots.

Double check my hooped socks to ensure they’re near a pair.

Choose a rose gold Radley – shame logo’s not a Rottweiler.

 

Rouge up cheekbones, apply fluorescent orange lippy.

Screw on my nasal jewellery – first blow my nose thrice.

Tighten faux La Perla corset to hold in what I can’t.

Slip on my red fitted jacket of real plastic leather.

 

Accoutrements deep in pockets – can’t be too careful for

on those nights when I wasn’t, often paid the price.

Stock up on business cards with cell number, with menu.

Pick up my smart phone to record each precarious minute.

 

Tarry just a moment for to pray to Madonna.

Ask her for forgiveness, seek salvation and courage.

Shed a tear for those taken in their line of duty.

Nobody deserves it but authorities don’t care.

 

Last spray of eau d’Byredo to sting like a deb.

Methadone tastes like shit, buggering my liver.

Turn off the terrestrial, feed the boa, the cat.

Double lock sash windows, switch on the alarm.

 

Off to work now; try to avoid another bloody beating.

Double fractured femur means I tot with a distinct limp.

Broken nose needs resetting after a bad day at the office.

Threats, warnings, physicality – I’ve had them all.

 

Tough life with little self respect; dignity departed.

Wasn’t in my dreams. Now its survival that matters.

Here comes my caring minder who always takes first cut.

Everybody worries about me… but wish I did too.


  • first appeared in Scrittura Magazine Issue 14 Winter 2018

 

Reclaiming Our Domain

Warmed up our globe

with icebergs melting at pace

then sea levels rising

to threaten our domain

but is it too late?

 

Strengthen our resolve

to reclaim our land

swallowed up by water

house after house

street upon street, gone.

 

We rebuild our dykes

higher, stronger

plug holes with fingers

to fight coastal erosion

by the almighty powerful.

 

Yet we still burn fossils

spew toxins in the ether

unbalancing our world

push us closer and closer

towards Armageddon.

 

We protest ad nauseum

all across the planet

link arms in tour de force

to chastise governments

for inaction and waste.

 

But until a young girl

from sleepy Stockholm

challenged our leaders

to take environmental action

little was done.

 

Though is it too late

to reclaim our domain

as the water levels rise

from icebergs melting at pace

but why can’t we all care?

 

Rosa Parks 7053

From out of a dark mist created by malevolent man

through boulevards of slavery and pernicious segregation

 

a murder of crow circles as an old-look coach arrives

snarling from all cylinders, a carriage for all colors

 

when off a business estate at the end of a long day

across the marled sidewalk into the bowels of the bus

 

she enters with quiet dignity from decades of oppression

generations of inequality to sit as her human right

 

yet he orders her to move, to cede up her paid seat

finger pointing with malice and threatening the Law

 

but no lateral movement just abject determination

covering her black body like a quilt on a winter night

 

though no brothers for bravado or sisters for comfort

just a cordon of injustice, a quiet strength from within.

 

This was only the beginning; more work to be done.




Alun Robert is a prolific creator of lyrical free verse. He has been successful in poetry competitions across the British Isles and North America. His work has been published by numerous literary magazines, anthologies, and webzines in the UK, Ireland, Italy, India, South Africa, Kenya, USA, and Canada. Memberships include the Poetry Society UK and the Federation of Writers Scotland for whom he was a Featured Writer in 2019. In 2021, he was appointed Monthly Contributor to Odd Magazine