Killing Machines

Motors quietly spring into life, propelling the killing machines like clockwork scythes, wreaking havoc and trouble and strife, knowing no value of human life. Robotic motions showing no emotion, just forward motion to the enemy they march, through water and mud and railway arches the machines come alive to dominate the world they strive.

Chopping and flailing, and shooting at will, humans cut down like butter, blood oozing through the gutter, yet not a word do they utter, not a murmur or stutter, just bodies adding to the carnage of death and clutter. Those machines of death marauding in a land of weak feeble tribes.

Metal networks of destruction; death of a race, unrelenting, uncaring, unfeeling, charge of the death machines. Hour upon hour the country they scour more bodies pile up by the hour. East to west, North to South, machines push on to continue their rout. Then, as if they had finished with the earth, they all disappear into the sea, leaving a sneak preview of what the world would soon be.

 

© All Rights Reserved Mark Symmonds 2017

Passchendaele

Hail and rain, mud all around, machine gun clack, no turning back Passchendaele. Men dying in bullet hails, shouts and painful wails, Passchendaele. Over the top to certain death 6000 men lay in the mud, oozing blood, Passchendaele.

Edgar Mobbs, hero of the hour, over the top for to a machine gun stop, cut down in his prime, dying in thick sludge and grime, hero second to none, Passchendaele. Men of rugby will be playing no more, casualties of war, Passchendaele. War on unprecedented scale, men never came back to tell their tale. Passchendaele.

Families cry and wail, Their love ones fall on foreign ground, many of them never found, just memorials of that horrific killing ground, Passchendaele. Forests grow and peace flows, in this tranquil place where that battle took place, Passchendaele.

©All rights reserved Mark Symmonds 2017

Thank you to Ariel Chart for publishing this poem in their September 2017 edition

Sea Float

Floating in the sea, head and body calm legs scurrying, hurrying, kicking, keeping me afloat, waves lift my weightless waterlogged load. Free floating bobbing in harmony with the waves, salty moisture penetrating my lips cold numbness of the sea extracting heat from my head to my feet, sun warming my face, life moving at a slow pace. No panic no fear just floating here.

I spy no land and swim to nowhere, just treading water in the tranquility of mystic mire, in the middle of somewhere, daylight fading, sun setting on distant horizon. Night is still with the rush of the sea, moon glistening light show, just for me. Night makes me weary, I try to stay awake, keeping my head from going below the wake. Soon, I drift into disturbed sleep, waking at the cold of waves from the deep, hitting my face in this tranquil place.

Day light breaks early, painting its yellow glow on the sea below, warming the air on the horizon as its warmth rises. Body numb with cold, shivering out of control. I start to slide under every large wave, cool relief from the sun’s burn. I slowly go lower and lower no panic no regret just cold and wet. Head right under in deep dark yonder, what will be I wonder. From each wave, I re-emerge, sunlight glistening on Sea surge. Then finally one more wave takes me down to a dark murky grave. No breathing no heaving, just gentle glide to the depths of the sea where my body can hide, until one day its washes up on a beach on a morning tide.

© All Rights Reserved Mark Symmonds 2017

A Stranger In Town

The tall dark stranger rode into town to find some where to put his weary head down. He alighted his horse and tied it of course as he headed for the local saloon. This mighty man, propped at the bar, ordered a Jack Daniels in his jar. With his tilted Stetson over his face he downed the sour mash in a dash, then the barman topped him up another whiskey in his cup. Then in from the street came cool hand Pete.

He wore two guns and stood seven feet one, not the sort of man you shake hands with when you meet. Pete was like a cat with nine lives, shot at many a time by passers-by, all of them bit the dust on the floor as Pete’s guns roared, now everyone trembles when he walks through the door.

Now before cool hand Pete could reach the bar for his seat the stranger in the corner pulled back his poncho and dropped him without rising to his feet. You could hear a pin drop as the stranger finished his last drop. He headed to the swinging bar doors never glancing back at the floor. On his horse he climbed, rode out of town as the clock chimed. No one knew who that stranger was, or why he shot cool hand Pete. But no one cared, only that unknown stranger was the one that dared

 

© All Rights Reserved Mark Symmonds 2017

Descimated

Shape shifters flitting in the shadows, alleyway to doorway they stalk their prey, anyone who after curfew strays. Dogs bark in the fog of destruction, wasted planet of dis function, disfigured mammals roam the streets, looting what’s left to eat.

Black cars roll up and down the street; counting the numbers of people in retreat, the mas unprovisioned stampede to nowhere just a place in time, that didn’t heed the warning signs. Vapor spurts from disused silos, the kind of place where no one goes, what went on there, only a few know, we just remember the blinding glow.

Children piled two deep in the street as what is left of their mothers weep, while shape shifters creep taking bodies on the cheap, People of gods pray in the street to have mercy on the crops and wheat. radio signals crackle to life, some have made it and kept their lives, no music to stream just recalled screams of a world on its knees.

Streets of deserted homes, fires still burn at the edge of the street, no water for the flames to meet, just an unsettling intense heat. More metal falls from the sky mushroom clouds, flashes burning the eye. in the distance, a baby cries its last tears, it probably won’t make it out of here. Men in masks arrive to burn those are not alive. Riding the streets an epidemic risk the actions are brutal and very swift.

It’s time to leave this forsaken place and take my chances in a land of waste. Hiding by day and scouting by night, making use of anything that I find, using whatever comes to mind, constantly watching for signs of life, or attacks from behind. no one is kind, they are all for themselves, smashing windows and looting shelves, lawless and powerless the rule of mob. No home, no food, no job; just trying to survive, to thrive in this wasteland barely alive.

©All Rights Reserved Mark Symmonds 2017

Rita

Rita lays in bed, memories of younger days running through her head, she can’t get up, so reminisces to help the time go by, tears in her eyes as she roles back the years. She is waiting to be got up washed and dressed, Carers are late again causing her distress. Every day it is the same, on her own all night long no water no food feeling so lame. she rues the day she got old, the way she must live and she feels the cold. Carers come and knock the door, she wishes she could tell them she doesn’t need them anymore. Short of time, they can’t stay too long, with the system something must be wrong. Strip wash as quick as they can, is this how you would treat your gran. Cup of tea, no food, no time, it would be a crime. Left on her own, with pendent and phone, in four walls that she calls home.

She looks forward to the next visit, which will be soon, but, no one appears at noon, hunger pangs griping her stomach, she dares not complain, she should be grateful the morning people came. Three o’clock, they are late again sandwich and tea, she wishes they would stay, she tries a plea, they are off as soon as they came, short of staff and travelling again.

Last visit of the day, microwaved dinner on the tray, she is put to bed at eight o’clock, they can’t do it any other way, no matter how much she pays, she still must look forward to short lonely days. Night time is long, sleep is sporadic, she reflects on her life and her husband deceased who would have showered her at least. She longs to be with him, where ever he is, he’s truely missed.

Morning strikes and sunbeams drift in to the room. Carers knock at eight o’clock, they are early to put on her socks. They let themselves in and poke their head in on Rita hoping to greet her. There is no answer, they start to stare, her worn out body is in bed, but the spirit has fled, all they could do is stand and stare wishing they were not there. Rita’s soul stands in the room looking down like the moon seeing the reactions of those who care, now they have come early and she is not there.

 

©All rights reserved Mark Symmonds 2017

Retribution

Insecure angry man, controller, punisher chastiser. Head worker action skiver. Putting you down, you can’t do right, shouting out of spite, bruises and broken bones, checking of mobile phones. Telling you what to wear, who you can go with, what time and where. If your late back you will get a whack.

Push you to the floor hand shut in the door, why do you take anymore? Backed in a corner cowering low on the floor waiting for the next blow. The pain shoots through your stomach, fear coursing through your veins, as you double up waiting for more violence to rain, hoping your life doesn’t drain.

Excuses and lies, shades cover bruised eyes, he has come back to apologise giving a flash of puppy dog eyes. Talk and talk he even cries crocodile tears to a lay your fears. Back again you let him come, you still love this son of a gun. All is calm sweetness and like, then he changes, controlling once again, you let it go as you don’t want the strain, deep down you know what will happen again.

Blue lights come to take you away, string to the end now he must pay. He’s dead on the floor inside the door, battering and bruising he can do it no more. For your trouble, you fall foul of the law, for killing a man who treated you worse than a whore, can’t they see it’s not murder it’s settling the score.

© All rights reserved Mark Symmonds 2017