A Poetry Showcase by Jimmy Webb

Bird, Falcon, Eye, Beak, Face, Close Up

Bird’s Eye View

A boy I used to be; head in the clouds, feet kicking up dirt, looking up, looking out, chasing summers and not letting them go, singing to my own tunes like nobody was listening, asking questions where there were no answers, wishing I was older, wishing I was freer. Wanting to spread my wings and beat the wind.

A man I used to be; head in the now, feet on the ground, treading, treading, lost in the heavy slog. Clipped wings, dried up of songs, not storing each rising sun.

Only when death’s cold shadow invaded my lungs did I stop to breathe, take in the must of the morning dew, lavenders, lilies, the old wood mill that reminded my of my youth.  

Only when the shadow wrapped my spine did I yearn the cool breeze to raise goosebumps on my skin, at the dawn chorus – robins singing to the windchimes’ tune, accelerando – me wishing I could shrink and ride their adventures.

A kestrel I am now; everywhere and nowhere, a breeze against the current, looking down, looking back, seeing all and wanting nothing. Diving, diving near, when those close think my name, with questions, so many questions to the impossible answer.

Some don’t get to grow old

Your legacy runs deep
like a ship on the ocean bed.
She stacked cards
on your unreached
1 st birthday. Not sealed,
so that each message floating
in tears could drift to you.
A second chance came.
She held him tight. Like rope.
Too tight, in case he swam
toward you. But it was she
who floundered. She
who dove to you,
and her infectious light
turned the ocean bright
blue. I once waded in it,
up to my neck, breath held
for the deep descent. Now
I watch sunlight glisten
on the waves, taste the salt
in the wind that carries her
dreams, her smiles. Her pride.

Tale of the Not So Noble

Beneath my fur and gold, my bold
tunics and crested tabards, beneath
your dress of all colours, your noble
pretence, our disguise is the same,
as is hers, as is everyone’s.

Each scene, each chapter, each
new act in the play can only veil
our truth that all we are is flesh.

Swan and peacock fill me.
Peppered, honeyed, gingered.
Your salted fermentations
would be an insult on my plate.
Yet, beneath their gristles
of integument, all they are is flesh.

Her arm links into mine. We walk
the same path. Behind her mask – her tender
touch, her eyes, soft words through scented
breath, the same breath she pants into yours – lies a quest of a comfortable life frilled
with the fruits of her appetite. All we are is flesh.

As my blade connects us, along with our eyes
and slowing beats. Know this. She will still lay
with me, eyes closed and heart jaded. A vessel
for my offspring. A vessel for my own appetite.
Know that all she will be is flesh.

Sights of the Morning Commute

A moonlit motorway, humming
with distant thoughts.
Red lights slowing, too bright
for my weary eyes.
Lines no longer blurred.
A chance to readjust.
Stillness. Trees to the left,
speaking only in chirps.
A grass field, lush, a glistening
lacquered covering.
A small fire smoulders
in a lone yard. Its brume drifts
far across the low mist.
An emulsion, caressing treetops
and roofs of a distant village.
A romance hidden in full view.
A question. Who is burning
at this hour? My mind travels there.
A figure by the fire. His glistening eyes
look no further than his past
deeds, which have burned to dust
with his tainted soul. But he waits,
still, as the world coasts by, unaware
that even in impurity
there can beauty.

Lady on the Bench

Ten, fifteen, twenty pigeons,
friends of hers
for a moment, oblivious
to her mile, her gnarled hands
that they feed from.
Ten, fifteen, twenty pairs
of wings not caring
that they’re welcome,
Unshooed in this picture
frame, A snapshot of hunger.
Ten, fifteen, twenty people
neither looking or not looking.
A varied flock of distant souls,
many thoughts, many voices,
too many places to go.
Ten, fifteen, twenty dips
into her paper bag, her smile
growing with each handful.
Stray grains devoured
on the ground, a favoured
feast of frenzy.
Ten, fifteen, twenty flaps
Until they are dispersed.
The empty bag an instant
trigger for the fickle fowl
to soar. For, their next meal
awaits. She still watches them.
She still has no audience, yet, she still smiles.

Bio: Jimmy is a short story and poetry writer. He has work published and forthcoming in Bandit Fiction, Ellipsis Zine, Short-B-Read, Cold Moon Journal, Centifiction, Literally Stories, Henshaw Press Competition Winners Anthology, FromOneLine Anthology, Potato Soup Journal, Academy of the Heart & Mind, and 2nd place in Essex Book Festival Story Hunters Project Competition. 

He is found on Twitter using @_Jimmy_san_