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
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
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
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