POETRY: ‘Prey’ & ‘Beauty & the Beast’ by Robert Harper
Six inches from the ground
she clung like a puffin
on a cliff, eyes wider
than the gutter depths,
waiting for the right time
to swoop; she flicked embers
of her last thought down
the drain. Relaxed her grip
which fed into a smile; one foot
after the other, in careful steps
toward a car. She waited
with the patience of a bird
as the tinted glass rolled down.
Are you the hunter? said one.
Now that depends…
Beauty and the Beast
Snow hangs, strung above their heads,
as the tune skips and swings; beat by beat,
fingers dancing in shadows. Each table,
lit with the precision of a tin can, host
to four or more; a cluster of caffeinated
addicts—adrenaline pumping faster
than the gypsy jazz bass lines. He talks.
We listen. Or should I say, we listen
but he does not care to even try;
he works his words, watches eyes, defiles bar
after bar to find his way beyond our fret.
And then applause, hands shake before
the long walk home; a night five below
our last trip into town, and yet his coda lies
before him; an untouched strip of frost
on which he treads.
Copyright © Robert Harper, 2015
Robert Harper is the founding editor of Bare Fiction Magazine and artistic director of Bare Fiction Theatre Company. His poetry has been published by The Interpreter’s House, Wenlock Poetry Festival, Prole, Acumen, Royal Philharmonic Society, by Rebecca Goss for National Children’s Heart Week 2014, and in the anthologies ‘fathers and what must be said’ (Rebel Poetry Ireland) & ‘I am part of that generation’: Poems from the 2014 PBS National Student Poetry Competition for which he was Highly Commended.
Banner Image: Copyright © Jo Mazelis, 2015