Benjamin Smith


Over in the tall grass,
Where nettles sting like jelly-
Fish, I found a cave, open
Mouth of eerie pitch.
I crept the patch of grass,
Sleeve gloved, dodging stingers like
A mine-field. Not welcome –
Read a stake stuck at the
Entrance – Enter
At your own Risk! Inside night reigned,
Light slivers creeping
Fault-lines in the ceiling.
I slipped through the nocturne, groping
Wet walls, smooth cold rock -
Its dormant oesophagus.
I slid down its throat
And entered the stomach;
Honeycomb catacombs
Strewn with dead,
Lost men, desperate
Skeletons clutching
At bottles; one last gulp
For courage; one last
Gulp for all time. They
Must have crawled in there,
Roofless, searching out a
Sleep-hole. Never
Found a way out.
Today the sirens
Came to collect them.

Fluoxetine Visions

Fluoxetine visions visit me
At my scrambled desk; fleeing
Thoughts fall by the wayside.
Match flare flashes half-formed

Faces, crashes the computer screen,
While somewhere over there,
Though I don’t know where there is,
I feel them whispering: The Council

Foreign voices formed for my
Destruction. I fight them off; cling
To my desk, keep breathing, deep,
Keep staring at the screen,

Tell them that they’re not real.
When my tongue tingles with pins
And needles- that means they’re gone,
That means, Back to work...

Benjamin Smith © 2013


The pond is a maelstrom;
Mad swirl of red cap orandas,
Bubble-eyed black moors and
Multi-coloured calicoes.

Moustachioed coy carp
Glide the olive chamber
While glinting silver fish
Disturb the water-boatmen.

Down in the darkness,
Where the algae eats the sunlight,
Fat sucker-fish hoover skeletons,
Caracols eat the algae,

The turtles eat the caracols;
Everything eats each other.

Fish Supper by the Fire

Heavy drops splash, crash the boundary
As slippery citizens slither to the shadows
Shivering in the cloud-burst.

Crushed petals cling to the ceiling tarp
While disoriented deck-chairs lay stranded on the lawn
And freckled frogspawn ripples the chambers surface.

The garden is a ship-wreck, this pond
Pandemonium. Water leaks the guttering.
You won’t be home for hours

With your raw kisses and your
Pink-white streaks of bacon to
Fatten me up – make me ripe for the picking.

When winter falls the sky freezes;
Black silhouettes solidified in icebergs.
But you come with your ice-picks

And crack open the surface.
Bony fingers plumb turbulent murk
Searching out fresh meat: something for the hunger.

Silk City

In the moonlight spiders wince,
Spin cobwebs to catch it.
Hollowed bodies litter
The brilliant threads; glimmering
Like twilight graveyards.

Cast out to the canopy
These eight-legged vampires
Drain marrow from the bone moon, suck
The city into darkness.
We live in their shadow,

We live with their blood-lust,
Or do we? Sometimes we die, get
Digested by the system.
Next time you see them, hiding
In the darkness – Stomp them.

Benjamin Smith © 2013