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Three poems by Les Wicks



Chicken Little


I know less now.

Just as birds are Triassic & air

not poultry

some talk society but

others economy.


We are chooks.

To strut corporate grasses

promise of no death through no life.


There was a story our grandroosters took

with a tot of rum for sleep

& regular bowels.

If I published it

there’d be a solid pecking from a righteous mob.

We all crowd the middle, see me there.


Free range? Sure, pleasures are in there

a bassline like heartbeat

the surprise of harp.

Though under laws of pre-eminence

we will still have to queue

at the machinery of predation.


So choice (but circumscribed)

I always poke about,

savour those critters in the compost

but won’t eat garbage.

Why else these beaks

but to sing songs

about occasionally saying no.


I have fought & flown,

secreted hatchlings in the corners of the coop.

There’s the love of flock

& the pain of isolation.

This tiny lifespan is inexplicably complete.




Wand Chalice Book & Blade


The first ceremony was a bass line



The second was a pen, that only pretended

            to be carved from an unbled dagger.


These new/ancient beliefs talk uncommon sense.


Aging women & men have little use for maidens —

            it’s about the spells wrapped in will.


Pallid & exhausted, skyclad well’n’good but it’s freezing.


When you come back, pretend

            you never left.

There’s witch in my genes.


A faun quivers. This Mother isn’t worried,

            women’s business is open for that man

                        when gender will soon be forgotten altogether.


Because these ropes were weaved by xians

            sure we were burnt                 

but that blaze was also a kind of worship.                             


air, fire, water, earth & aether


The years do not impart percipience

            Pagans at the Pub 2nd Tuesdays

                        one must learn, listen to the land

reality plus.

                                                Strength has nothing to do with slaughter.


Dirt is order.

There are few rules

almost laughable.

Kate thinks it’s spiritual jamming.


Consensus tires. I have been too sensible

so will return perhaps.

Back — when at 17    outside & absurd

I felt obligated to believe,

there was a hand.       

Had caught a bus to the sabbat,                     

if my parents only knew.                               


So fringe it fits when nothing fits

we’ll save the planet

then dance a little.






There’s talk about the newest wave…


  1. Politics, the ocean’s flat

barring that worrisome undertow

that can pull anyone south

towards extremity.


There are dolphins about

but more sharks.

That Surf Club is rundown.

Salt eats anything.


Each time I’m out here

there’s talk of the clean ride

a synergy of energy

pace with purpose, clean water.

It’s both a distant memory &

perhaps imminent now.


  1. Never had much time for fashion;

my Hawaiian shirts, like patient surfers between sets

still amidst the churn

back into style, just the right barrel every 9 years,

an ideal break.


I’m told there are regular fights

outside the Surf Club on weekends.


  1. Food today is like the beach

at the end of a long Sunday drive.

Traffic has been dreadful

your park is blocks away

& the queue of surfers down to the edge

don’t even say g’day.


Nearby malls have everything.

Tourists can ride a few peckish meters

then tick a “cuisine experience” off the list…

Bhutanese, Venezuelan.


  1. The largest wave is friendship.

Heard stories about seamlessness

that sleepy beast of an upsurge that carries you in

until your fin cuts a channel in the sand.


There are dumpers that leave you gasping.

Will & persistence, how a cold current

can race to your head.

This is no sport for amateurs

though we are all grommets to the end.

So many dropped off

or drowned.


  1. I look across at the woman beside me,

longboard is battered, wetsuit has a tear.

Her nose is peeling with sun

eyes beneath reefs of laughter

sandbank of a smile.

All this struggle hardly worth it?

Don’t be stupid. She points & yells    Look.


A new swell rises.



Les Wicks has been published across 35 countries in 15 languages. His 15th book of poetry is Time Taken – New & Selected (Puncher & Wattmann, Feb 2022). He can be found at leswicks.tripod.com/lw.htm

Topic tags: Les Wicks, poetry



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