Mêlée; Falling Back; Cuckoo in the Pillbox

by Winston Plowes


I’ve buried you like an
acorn in the foxhole
before the winter
burns me.

Paint your eyes with nightfall
and leave no one behind.

And hide me in your haystack
until the reaper’s done

Step lightly through the poppies
until repatriation.


Falling Back

These cracked eggs
I incubate for you.
Gagging on every thorny paper kiss,
every birthday missed,
every enlisted thought since flashback.

My life within these war rooms
is decorated
with one long wait for you
to take our tender salute.


Cuckoo in the Pillbox

Your muscles have ripened on the bone
and you have returned differently.

Eyes that blink to orders
since the sand unmade you.
Smothered in camouflage
you brought a war back with you.
In your blood and thunder.
In the hiding and dying days.

You’re the storm within my china
The bruises on my arm
And I don’t know how to change you


Winston Plowes lives aboard his floating home in Calderdale, West Yorkshire. He was Poet in Residence for the Rochdale Canal Festival in 2012 and The Hebden Bridge Arts Festival 2012-14 and his first solo collection of surrealist poetry, Telephones, Love Hearts & Jellyfish (Electric Press) was launched last year. Winston is a regular teacher of creative writing in schools and for local groups and is the proud inventor of the worlds first (and possibly last) Random Poetry Generating Bicycle, the ‘Spoke-n-Word’.

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