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Gareth Writer-Davies — Artificial Flowers

Profile Gareth Davies LE P&W Sept 2019

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Artificial Flowers, poems by Gareth Writer-Davies

Gareth Writer-Davies is from Brecon, Wales where he works in gardens and runs the Brecon Beacons Stanza of The Poetry Society. He has been published extensively in the UK and abroad in magazines and anthologies. Shortlisted for the Bridport Prize (2014 and 2017) and the Erbacce Prize (2014). Commended in the Prole Laureate Competition (2015) and Prole Laureate for 2017. Commended in the Welsh Poetry Competition (2015) and Highly Commended in 2017. His pamphlet “Bodies”, was published in 2015 and the pamphlet “Cry Baby” came out 2017.  Both via Indigo Dreams. His first collection “The Lover’s Pinch” (Arenig Press) was published June, 2018. He is a Hawthornden Fellow (2019) and his pamphlet “The End” is due out later this year through Arenig Press.


Artificial Flowers

the bees come through the open window
and fly straight past the flowers

not fooled by their gaudy come hither blooms
or their bend ‘n’ snap stems

that someone in a plastics design studio
took to the boss and thence to the guys on the production line

who bundled them in a box
and delivered to a store which is where I came in

I pack groceries in the boot of the car
pick up my laundry

and not forgetting the bouquet
drive home through the drowsy fields of summer

Narrow Boat

it’s rather like camping
everything must be put back in its place after use

mugs washed at once after the last sip
clothes hung up

that’s how all is kept ship shape and shiny
a place for everything and everything in its place

though as you roll out of the narrow bed
mind your head

and don’t step on the wine glass
or trip on trousers discarded in haste

in this narrow space
love is a folded blanket and a tidy shelf

an aphorism yet to find its way into romantic literature
though worth a footnote

today
I say nothing and let you be

like a vow I made
to not be alone

we lie together spooned and unspeaking
in the bed we are making

there is scarce time now
to be unkempt


Anthropomorphic Test Device

knowledge is trial and error
and along the way
there are always fatalities

the shock of a punch to the torso
a careless spear
traumatic amputation

cracking like a tree upon a fault-line
the trunk
making sudden kindling of unmastered limbs

as the humanoid crashes to the ground
suddenly to live or die
a dummy flies through a wired windshield

whilst an improved model waits out the back
failing better
rubbing two sticks together

Light Verse is the Antidote to Sorrow

Cacti are survivors
Robust, prickly, they are not like people in a book

Who get distracted
Make decisions with tragic consequences

The cactus takes one sip of water
And just gets on with it.

Two saplings grafted onto a common stock
Light verse and modern poetry

Behave as if each is a distant cousin, vaguely related
But fluidity rather than thought

Is what keeps the cactus going
A deep rooted flower that blooms amongst thorns

Light verse is the true antidote to sorrow
And something way beyond intellect


Monkey Tailors

after an 18th century painting at Hawthornden Castle

are busy
cutting, measuring & sewing

the many skills of tailoring, divided between them
like any workplace
monkey see then monkey do

there is a market for paintings
where animals take on human work, play cards
& even marry

detailed scenes of the domestic
a dog reads a newspaper by the fire whilst his cat-wife prepares supper

animals have their own ways
of going about
intricate and marvellous

& we can’t stand it
as if hens are dying to lay our morning egg (though many are)
& make themselves useful; that’s nature as we see it

Beatrix Potter has a lot to answer for
we don’t believe her bunnies in breeches are human for one minute
they’re so lazy

Apollo 13

Five-Four-Three-Two-One
Action!

and like a Western in space
the cool nylon heroes
blast
off
riding seven and a half million pounds of thrust

later
the rocket bucked and gravity fading

the lonesome voyage around the moon when all contact lost  the audience
held its breath

it ends with a big splash
grizzled astronauts waving from the bobbing hatch

there isn’t a dry throat in the house
-Moon Cola ®-
as the credits roll and the crew leave the seen unsaid

again
in soundless darkness

we breathe (respirate)

the trailer for the next show
dissolves to white


© Gareth Writer-Davies