Robert’s Poems

Robert Wylie is our resident poet and salonista who discovered the joy of writing poetry very recently whilst shielding from Covid 19. We hope you enjoy his work.

Disclaimer  What a Poem Is

Blank, alexandrine and sometimes couplets
Provide the stays for some.
A sonnet or a villanelle
Epic, lyric, pastoral
Sacred or profane
To me are all the same.

I don't know what a poem is
Or meter, cadence, rhyme.
I know when it comes to burbling up
Ineffable and true
I feel compelled to eructate
And write it down for you

For those of you who think, I fear,
That poetry I slaughter
Much better then to micturate 
And write it down in water.  
Dissonance
  
A carapace
Rock-like
 
Protects
 
My newly tongue-tied
Muted voice -
My inmost being -  
From choking
On the nacreous tumor
Growing lustrously
Within.
 
You dive
A willing Cygnus
To reach
A protean Phaeton
Misreading in the depths
This sea-change
Of unabortable
Conception
 
We drift  
In etiolating symbiosis
Slowly unknowing
Un-embracing
Letting go.
 
 
 
Gulls
 
Outside
Gulls pillage
Patrolling streets for trash
Self-appointed terrorists
Marauding
Squawking
Insolent
Showing fledglings how it’s done
 
Inside
Memories gull my mind
Lulling into safety
Then with impunity
Shape-shift into howling
Shades
Shrieking
Shredding all behind
Lacerating all before
Self-spawned and spawning Furies
Leaving no-where to go
 
Outside
Gulls withdraw in twilight
Inside
Black and darker still.
Sick Tongue
 
Silent
Isolated
No cause to speak
Hear a voice from inside out
Once supple and fluent,
Now impeded, its own gag
A clumsy weighted flabby slurring mass
That chokes on itself
Chokes on the poems that were
Once a voice, once internal
Now unheard
Unknown
Silent
 
Smoke
 
I light another cigarette
Self-isolated pariah
Spot-lit under the the cooker hood
Inhale
Exhale
Watch
In the phosphorous light
Smoke, diffuse, from my lungs
And narrower bluer smoke from my cigarette
Co-mingle on their ways to oblivion
In the extractor fan.
 
Another minute killed
Killing Time.
Inhale
Exhale
Watch
Through the glare
Smoke
Furling unfurling
Elegant on its way to annihilation
In the extractor fan
 
Another minute
Killing Boredom.
Inhale
Exhale
Watch
Smoke
Swirling toward a false sun
Spiraling upward like Icarus
Doomed to a different fate.
 
Another
Killing
 
One last exhalation
 
Ash
Temporal
Drops to the floor
Not yet
Eternal
 
I light another cigarette.
Personal Development
 
Please
Accommodate my
Robot-like, jerky,
Kinetically challenging
Idiosyncrasies.  Not to mention my
gNomic
Slurring and
Overwhelming
Need to just
Sit.
 
Deep
Inside an unexpected
Sea Change
Embraces and
Acclaims my different
Self or selves
Emerging.
Voices
 
Voices
Echoes
 
Out loud (or not)
Whispered (or not)
Internal (or not)
 
Voices
 
From the street (or not)
On the phone (or not)
On the radio (or not)
In my head (or not)
 
Voices
 
Constant gabbling
Nonsense mumbling
Just below audible
Filling air, ears, head
Scrambled
Scrabbling for meaning
 
No heads that talk
Voices
No lips to read
No tongue that moves
Just
Voices
Voices
 
Urgent
Furious
Voices
 
I
Hear
Voices
 
None mine
All mine.
  
Half Masks
 
In the grace of a harsh light
In an unflattering glass
My living, lived-in half-mask
Regards the almost unlined beauty
Of its undisguisedly asymmetric pendant
Not living
Not dead
Not ageing in tandem,
Granted early
The embalmer’s art
Of neutral still life
 
Its lines are shadows
Of pathways whose names
Once fashionable,
Renamed after this season’s
Taxonomy,
Would map sense
On to
Non-sense
And other dead ends
Ward off
With nomenclature
An all-too inevitable transformation
Taboo in others’ eyes.
 
The glass accepts
Reflects
My unmasked halves
My face
In all its fragile
Glory.
Proust versus Beaudelaire
 
Out of Ennui
Alone I
Thought to bake
Bread
To succor myself in self satisfaction
Breathing in
Tasting
Indulgent Reminiscence’s
Warm
Fraudulent embrace
Odorously revivifying
In Now
Now past
 
Instead
Yeast’s
Sulphorous swelling pustules
Unswell
Releasing  
Breath-taking Furies’
Carrion stench
Choking the air with
Acrid ash
Smothering Now and
Now past
In petrifying
Dust.
 
Games and Tapestries
 
 
Jigsaws and Solitaire for the mind
Needlepoint for dexterity
And virtuous Patience,
With its unknown hand,
Patiently frustrating –
Not out,
     Missing stitch,
               Lost piece
Murderously redone
In hapless isolation
All become
Fretful
Obsessive loops
Re-running imagined and
Unimagined
Games and tapestries
Played and woven with intention
Now
     Unintentionally
               Unraveling.