Two Poems by Nick Cooke


Don’t mind me as I glide past on my scooter,
one foot in the air, an arabesque stagily held
against the traction of reality
while you trudge on, lost to reverie.

I wear long shorts and a fishnet vest.
You’re in grey slacks and burgundy brogues
and I’d lay odds there are braces underneath
that tweed jacket with Frankenstein shoulders.

I’m sure you can hear and hope you
enjoy my music pulsating forth
from the cables plugged into my skull.
Good luck with your glorified silence.

We inhabit different spheres, right enough,
and though I feel you mock me,
even if you choose not to regard me,
I have an advanced diploma in indifference

and will invite you kindly to self-copulate
should you dispute my rights over more than half
the dusty pavement. No, I know you won’t –
you’re far too busy not minding me

to suspend your plodding fixation,
your superstitious paving stone stare;
to glance up where the aura might blind you.

Animal Kingdom

my face in ecstasy
aped by you
amid giggles
and hand over mouth
too late
and I doubt we can go
on with that between us
a strangled fox
caught in the ripple of a mirror
unless we love
without animalising ourselves
even minimally
in which purest of dreams
we have some hope
but with lips mashed
and buried heads
it’s like music with no beat
no driving pulse
and I do not think I
can live like that

so instead
let us seek a medium
which if not happy
at least can smile content
in the teeth of compromise
and allow for the odd
half grunt and grimace
on either side
without sacrifice
of respect or favour
and in moderate degree
may even embrace
perspiration and sighs


Nick Cooke has had several poems published in Sentinel Literary Quarterly, along with the anthologies Poems For a Liminal Age and To Kingdom Come, and other outlets including Agenda, Ink, Sweat & Tears, The High Window Journal, Dream Catcher, Poetry Space, I am not a silent poet and Nutshells & Nuggets. His poem ‘Tanis’ won the Wax Poetry and Art contest (April 2016) and ‘Process’ was Highly Commended in the Segora Poetry Competition (July 2015). He is currently working on his first collection.
He has also written several novels and a collection of stories which so far remain unpublished, as well as around twenty stage plays and eight film scripts.