5 poems by Z.D. Dicks “Light Drizzle” “Mirror” “Mourning” “Survival Strategy” “Owl Learns Magic”

Owl, Moon, Night, Branch, Tree
Light Drizzle

In Turkey/ a sheep stepped to air
off a cliff/ flew with one bleat 
the first drop of wool/ sixty 
thousand hooves followed to the lip/
loose clods of grass crumbled/ where 
one nibbling drip slipped

The first four hundred fluff balls
fell/ in plumes of splintered 
marrow/ staining gritted rock/
with bone mud/ and loosened 
tongue flop/ leaking wet innards 
of pink/ cracking as a spatter of dusk 

The storm that followed/ from 
ridge throat/ tumbled to earth
as thunder pillows/ thudding 
wheezes/ from dead fleece puddles
before rolling to scrapes/ as split feet 
bellowed to sky/ a clattering rain 

A fog had descended that evening/
when one fence peeled away/ its
barbs from post/ the dying heat warping 
wire/ four hundred dead and the rest 
cushioned/ but closer to home/ I look 
at flaking rust boundaries/ 
and wonder when they will break


The tap ran into the bath
and in a weird twist of current 
the water bulbed out and back in
to form a liquid champagne glass

I felt the rumble on my toe
tickling with indeterminate blast 
of hot-cold numbing skin     before
sploshing it back at sight of steam

Berry bubbles popped coastal
vineyards into the mist, but 
more emerged and flew 
kissing softly as butterflies 

Hip deep in imagined mid summer
I led back into the Mediterranean 
before the spell was broken 
and small hands tested a catch

Hopping frogs ready to burst 
I hunkered propping onto elbows 
cleared froth     and took one last look
marked the years of pretend toil 
and the final exhale of a vintner


This is the last day/ I will see her 
I feel her leave/ on a lily pollen breeze
herring gulls yelping/ the houses 
innards gurgle/ as copper pipes wake

The kitchen is warm and empty
spiders silently scuttle/ hide and sleep 
my lips dry/ throat out of practice/
unable to call for my mistress

A family clambers/ laughs around a table
smiles shout/ through the lounge 
all the windows are opened/ but/
no butterflies pulse in/ only flies

They circle/ around the/ cooling/ unlit bulb 
that hangs/ as a glass corpse 
the last of its/ night/ heat dissipates 
just as my creativity/ festers in dust
as my muse abandoned me

Survival Strategy
 (Owl studied success)

He didn’t know what it was 
but trees rained spiders 
sideways glances thrown 
as skimmed pebbles 

The venom bags hung
separate on spaced string
suspended in nothingness
a limbo of arms loaded

All predators, pendulums 
in unison, pulsing in air
not tangled by touch
spinning under own weight

Until a bat swung, plucked 
the lowest hanging berries 
that had no time to climb up 
the rest left, toiling, fed

Owl Learns Magic

Three women grinned through fire 
at the core of ember, a bird head
pressing into tough tracks 
Owl approached, a forge of beak

He kicked a mumble at the Past
where she stood growing 
a spell cast, warmer by the second
he drank all of her to memory

Ravenous, he salted Present
as he feigned all and no hunger 
looking into unconscious eyes 
pathways deep into emptiness 

Until, unsatisfied/fulfilled 
he looked through smoke
to Future, her face a flickered blur 
of strung white noise/black silence
knowing/ignorant of what to do 

Bio: Z. D. Dicks holds an MA in Creative and Critical Writing from the University of Gloucestershire. He often works with other poets locally and nationally to create events and to work on poetry projects. In 2016 he founded the Gloucestershire Poetry Society and the Gloucester Poetry Festival.  He has had his work accepted by many publications including Ink, Sweat and Tears, Sarasvati, Obsessed with Pipework, Three Drops from a Cauldron, Words from the Wild, Outlaw Poetry, Fresh Air Poetry, I am not a silent poet, As it Ought to Be, Nymphs, and Stride (plus many more and anthologies). He currently has three collections ‘Malcontent’ and ‘Intimate Nature’ with Black Eyes publishing (2019) and ‘Vexed’ with Hedgehog Poetry Press (2020).  Dicks has a keen interest in imagistic poetry and his work has been described ‘muscular language’ by Helen Ivory and has himself been described as ‘a gothic Seamus Heaney’ by Anna Saunders.  In 2019 he was appointed Gloucestershire Poet Laureate and works in various settings to promote poetry.’

By davidlonan1

David writes poetry, short stories, and writings that'll make you think or laugh, provoking you to examine images in your mind. To submit poetry, photography, art, please send to feversofthemind@gmail.com. Twitter: @davidLOnan1 + @feversof Facebook: DavidLONan1


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