Two poems by Mike Ferguson


What is it with Luke and John and their competing optimisms? That multi-media pervasiveness. Furniture restoration lays down a marker in its lifting to a terrestrial pristine. There is Powerheart G3 Pro, Lifeline, Defibtech, HeartSine samaritan 360p, but a missed trick in the absence of Lazarus Original. When the pampas stems returned after all those years. Imagine the multitude of lazaruses from plague and war that aren’t zombiefied. This ‘straightening from under again’ transcends as a more telluric phrase. How we salve disappointment in mocking the grandiloquence of redemption. In searching for a pun, there is ‘raising hell’ and then the corrective of ‘raisin bread’.




Not that, but the one about a slave to suffering and fantasy. Transcends one religion to the next conscription. It is a story I disdain with all my will and yet live every day. Them and Uz. Even the chiming minstrels Termanite, Shushite & Naamathite failed to assuage pain through rhyme.

A thumb-screw of mythology. Had Satan considered tender torture, tempting with paradox? Where reward is excess and pain: ten more needy kids; all those stinking camels! The woman was a wife and endured too.


Mike Ferguson is an American permanently resident in the UK and published widely online. His most recent poetry in print is Professions [The Red Ceilings Press, 2018].

Boris, by Mike Ferguson

Snow leopard without flakes to humanise. How a creature became monstrous in the act of its fakery. A rose by that name could never smell as sweet. Or Bogoris – the small one; wolf of shortness. How who and what we are at our core puts a slant on what is said: the monster was the best friend I ever had. The de piffle of it all. Play with names not namus. No Bush Pig ever soured with such a stench at this. The diminutive is in the stature of grace and caring, in the true knowing what is right and wrong, in the rhetoric of wolf and sheep and history’s making

We’re in the Money, by Mike Ferguson

hold yo’ horses
we all know these songs

we’re in the money

don’t attach
any wider meaning

we’re in the money

this personal,
innocent moment

we’re in the money

come on, my lot
got a lot

we’re in the money

depression and blues
is you

we’re in the money

if I have offended
it is preposterous

we’re in the money

I can look you
right in the eye

we’re in the money

right in the eye
as the sky is sunny

we’re in the money

Shock and Awe by Mike Ferguson

Gunshots echo from the ridge, repetitions so fast
it could be the automatic fire of multiple killings;

at the same time, jets reverberate in the sky to
attack other hushed places of a Sunday morning.

Sitting here is safe, listening to this as intangibles
of what seems the gist from farmers and friends

slaughtering rabbits beyond the rim of that hill.
When the roar of aircraft fades and guns lull too

there is time to adjust to quieting clues –
one plane joins other vapour streaks across the sky,

a distant sound of tourists heading home or off
on holidays abroad where foreigners are tolerable.

When silent beyond the hill there’s little surprise
by what is heard in the taunting from further on.

Awry by Mike Ferguson

Clouds are drifting slowly eastwards,
but the snapshots of blue are briefer than before.

An owl screams from a branch under the moon,
but there is no echo across fields.

Rain lashes all night in this winter storm,
but damage is more of the same.

Bordering bushes drop falling leaves,
but birds have nowhere to fly for certainties.

Waves break along the seaside’s shore,
but pebbles are not dragged back in its ebb.

Pruned shrubs are stripped, and their sticks in piles,
but there’s no urge to weave the rustic fencing.

The sun shines on this table of Sunday papers,
but what we read makes no sense any more.

Fire and Fury by Mike Ferguson

Fire and
fury echo
the past

dark words
of the
dark past,

words of fire
and words
of fury

dark as
the dark past
where words

worked their
after the

knowing of
their meaning
of darkness.

Fight fire
with fire
he thinks,

fury with
words as if
they matter

or after the

When words
matter, he
must think

better, better
than dark

or others
must speak
and think

for him.
Words have

and saying
them can be

but not as
dark as what
meaning brings.

Falderal by Mike Ferguson

we are divided

we are denied

we are dying


we have

exceeded the maximum

global requests per minute

for crawlers or humans


and cannot access


cannot access

a roof

cannot access


cannot access



even if we could crawl

to any

of it


we are humans

but have exceeded



have exceeded

its care


have exceeded

its capacity


we are everywhere

but nowhere –

we are in the

butcher’s slaughterhouse


though some

speaking better than we

call it falderal


our crawl is



and we have exceeded it