Two Poems by Jonathan Butcher

Time Is Money

I awake to hear radio news of yet more
empty pockets being emptied further, whilst
shop counter tills overflow with increases.

I rise and make tea with the last tea bag
in the packet, hold my breath full of morning
frost, and out stretch my fingers that creak
like kicked in doors.

And from the window I see failed faces that
linger in shop doorways, that seem to lean
closer than before, their breath as hot as lava
in couds of lie filled mist.

Their slavering drunken yells fail to evoke fear,
only annoyance, as they crawl through gutters,
as natural as scratching an itch, as breathing
congested air.

And the tiny patch of grass in the concrete yard
soaks up any tranquility left, absorbs it in the
hardened ground, converts it into steam.

Easy Shadow

Once again his head drops and offers that
mental shelter, and he prays at least today
will pass him by.

He has learnt to keep his mouth shut, his
tongue now redundant, a slab of dried meat,
that learnt it's lesson long ago.

And he sees them approaching, the grins
and gleaming eyes, ready to project their
package of misery (and they never seem
to take a day off).

And his voice and clothes and walk and
hair and eyes and teeth and nose are all
to blame now, a collective hindrance, that
only serve to fuel the ever glowing embers.

And to touch that green horizon, with fingers
that roam free from this shell, hardly seems
worth the bother.

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