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