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Poetry: Lucy A.E. Ward

Lily Play Shiny Birds

It was a tiny hummingbird cage
ten birds in less than a fifty centimetre cube
buzzing harder than wild-ass bees
tube beaks poking through the cold steel mesh

Aren't they unhappy in there?
If you give them the room, they grow.
Leave them alone. They're happy.

A chinatown neon display
on a simple winter afternoon
hangs magically in the air
where something honeycomb bound
sounds broken.

The birds explode as she opens the cage
shoving for freedom, chrome slashing breeze,
soaring higher they bank in formation
left. She sees arrows raining from the firmament
of heaven.

Mach 6 and they'll be away
windows blow autumn as they gather momentum.
Hypodermics draw nectar from flesh constellations
There are bogeys over Los Angeles, Moscow, Berlin.

Little girl laughing in Zooton
catches flowers and feathers of jade
Are you awake now, Huitzilopochtli?
Are you unhappy?
  No, Lily, No.


Close Your Eyes and Remember Yesterday

They were safe beneath the earth
concrete walls covered by a thin emerald sheen
water four inches deep as it kissed about the bedposts.
Outside the neighbourhood was vanishing
Old Mrs Carwell ran with her dressing gown burning
down the skeleton of Darwin Road.

Here once stood homes.

Safe in the bunker with a white candle quaking
they kissed to the music of siren screams,
hands finding solace in the calm warmth of skin,
a familiar taste on their death-bittered tongues.

So much was lost in the unlit urgency
faces in photographs
faded with time,
but in the sweat and new blood
on a raw wool blanket
my name was inscribed
with love and tears.

Dawn always brought devastation
staved off by blindness or
nervous brief dreams.
If I was there then,
I surely would have shouted

Father come home
Father come home


Copyright © 2002 Lucy A.E. Ward.

Lucy A.E. Ward resides in The Netherlands. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in many publications, including Flesh & Blood, Black October, Dark Illuminati, Dreams & Nightmares, and The Pedestal Magazine. She is a regular book reviewer for and the itinerant mistress of her own website, Little Behemoth's Corner (