Literary Yard

Search for meaning

‘Cinema’ and other poems

By: Christian Ward


The first film I saw
at the cinema was Masters
of the Universe with Dolph
Lundgren and Frank Langella.
I was seven and bored,
wanting the minutes
to scurry like mice. I started
picturing a western instead
of the drab ‘80s movie:
Saguaro cactuses intimidating
like Clint Eastwood, salmon-pink
vistas. Cardboard shoot-outs.
Father snapped me out of it
with a quick smack on the shoulder,
unaware of the bullets concealed
in my breath, my tongue moulding
itself into the shape of a gun,
ready for the showdown.


4am, Monday Morning

I drifted in and out
of sleep, waking at 4am
to the slasher film
screams of a mating vixen.

Streetlights became ellipses
for the hour’s cliff-hanger:
whether the fox would survive
the waking town or find refuge

in the undergrowth between
houses. I thought I glimpsed
something crawling before
I went back to bed, the shadow

scraping along the pavement
revealing the answer slowly,
like letters from a language
we might have known once.


Phipps Bridge, Near Morden

The pylons stand like wireframe
hunters over the council estate
winding like intestines. The tram
moves and I pass rows of semi
detached houses, their back gardens
identical, as if doled out
by the same croupier: shed, children’s
play house, barbecue. Their walls,
too, are all the colour of vanilla
ice-cream. A small dog, perhaps a terrier,
wanders in the last garden. His dark spots
stand out against the ordinariness
of the house, serving to prove there is more
here than the bleak existence of the daily hunt;
the need to camouflage, disguise.


Dawn As A Metaphor For Poetry

The town is a poem
not yet sent. Perhaps
if I shake the grey sky
like a Polaroid,

it will reveal whatever
colour is needed to make
it more appealing: peacock
blue, dandelion-yellow.

Streetlights bathe pavements
in orange light, a solitary
street cleaner chips away
at yesterday’s history:

smashed beer glasses, cigarette
stubs bent like thumbs. Clean
as scrubbed knees, it must wince
at the thought of being put

on display, sold to the future.
Perhaps they will smile politely
when they discover a boot print
disguised as a fishbone, think
it neat, obscure.

Almost like poetry itself.



Theirs is a life
of innocent nostalgia,
watching clouds pass
like targets on a fairground

shooting gallery. Grass
rarely changes, the rain
still tastes of yesterday.
People, too, remain in stasis.

Faces change but one quality
always remains: How we long
to swap our complicated lives
for one of simplicity.

Our voices drain in dreams,
how we hope they return innocent
as milk.


Christian Ward is a UK based writer who can be currently found in Asylum Magazine, One Hand Clapping, The Crank and The Pangolin Review

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