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A Tristful Trio – three poems by Ian Fletcher

By: Ian Fletcher

Closing Time

He died quite suddenly
one winter’s morning
a man not in his prime
yet taken before his time
in an unexpected demise.
After the funeral in the rain
we gather at his local haunt
to mourn our absent friend.
A couple of beers later
we feel a certain cheer
as if we are indeed here
less to grieve his loss
than celebrate his life
for alcohol dulls the pain
by beguiling the brain.
Our euphoria lasts a while
until closing time arrives
when we say goodnight
and step into the chill air
that brutally reminds us
of why we are there.


The Service

On a whim I attend
the Methodist chapel
for Sunday service.
I haven’t been here
in donkey’s years.
The building itself
has not changed
in structure at least
but it seems smaller
diminished somehow.
I have grown old
yet the congregation
are mostly older
their religion ignored
by my generation
of godless sinners
and our offspring.
The service leaflet
lists those to pray for
who cannot be there
in hospitals or in care
asking Jesus to save
them in their last stop
before the grave.
The preacher reels out
the tired old parables
of this dwindling creed
all in vain once again
to this faithless one
who has trespassed
for the last time
in God’s domain.



What were we thinking
you and me
that we could
put an end
to the consumer society?

What were we thinking
you and me
that taking LSD
would tune us
into a new reality?

What were we thinking
you and me
that the Age of Aquarius
would bring love and peace
and all wars cease?

What were we thinking
you and me
that it was our hour
and flower power
would change the world?

What were we thinking
you and me
for our sand is sinking
and we are shrinking
into the oblivion of history.


Born and raised in Cardiff, Wales, Ian has an MA in English from Oxford University. He lives in Taiwan with his wife, two daughters and cat. He teaches English in a high school. He has had poems and short stories published in Duane’s PoeTree, Tuck Magazine, Best Poetry, The Ekphrastic Review, 1947 A Literary Journal, Spillwords Press, Dead Snakes, Your One Phone Call, Schlock! Webzine,, Literary Yard, Indian Periodical, Anotherealm, Under the Bed, A Story In 100 Words, Poems and Poetry, Friday Flash Fiction, The Drabble, and in various anthologies.


  1. What were we thinking indeed….. twenty years ago in Taichung at elsi ,at the Frog, at the Spice Shop. We left and came to Australia ,years have flown by ,much has happened ,we’re now in Nimbin (the home of a great experiment) ,with our son Shivam .Apears Taiwan suits you and has become home ,and poetic inspiration .
    Dave and Mandi Raval

  2. Wow Dave! Amazing to see your comment. I remember you well. I got married to a Taiwanese woman and we have two daughters. Teach in a high school now.

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