I’ll not tread lightly

remember school days and how we would play
like there was no tomorrow?
now the castles we made
are the price we must pay
or flounder in oceans of sorrow

roaming wild and free, building houses in trees
as worlds waltzed to discordant tunes
like a zephyr through grass,
gilded summer days passed;
left us flayed under Cheshire moons

wooden sword fights and valiant knights;
pirates, the Pan and his Bell,
faded from dreams,
rowed ungentle streams,
to where the real monsters dwell

I’ve climbed faraway trees, seen fair Honah-Lee,
never never thought I’d grow old
now the pied piper calls —
before the last curtain falls,
leafless, I’ll trip into the wold.

Ryan Stone

First published by Wolf Publishing June, 2015

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The first time I saw her naked

I blushed, despite imagining her often
unclothed — long caramel legs
arabesque honed, perhaps a soft tuft
to cover their tryst. I’d dreamt
creamy breasts with rose petal tips
that would stiffen and rise
in the moonlight.
The first time I saw her naked,
I stood with her mother —
the woman who bore her,
and the boy who adored her,
alone with death in the room.

Ryan Stone

Unburied Hatchet published at Autumn Sky Daily Poetry

I subscribe to a number of online poetry sites in order to receive my daily dose of poetry. One of my favourites is Autumn Sky Daily Poetry. Editor, Christine Klocek-Lim, selects a wonderful and varied array of poetry for her site and has introduced me to many new poets as well as reacquainting me with some great vintage verse.

I was so excited when today’s Autumn Sky email arrived and I saw my poem – Unburied Hatchet – featured on the site. Thank you, Christine.

This link will take you to my poem if you’re interested: Unburied Hatchet at Autumn Sky Daily Poetry.

If you’re looking for fresh and engaging poetry in your inbox each day, I can’t recommend this site highly enough.

Souldier

The Harley was midnight polished chrome,
three years of saving — a gift to myself
in the spring of seventeen.

I donned leathers as my birthday broke,
left the house that was not home
and rode out into morning. Rode

until I landed, beneath the steely gaze
of a drill sergeant who forged men
from boys of seventeen.

He shaved away my dreadlocks,
found a fractured soul beneath,
broke it down
then built it up,
stronger,
more complete.

Ryan Stone

First published by Silver Birch Press, February 2017

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At a Dog Fight

The sweating men form a ring,
aroused by proximity to death.
Snatched from backyards as children slept,
two dogs now circle and snarl.
Flies feast on blood and one dog goes down,
back legs splayed, front torn and flailing.
Defeat is a whimper – sharp teeth at the throat –
from which men turn and tally bets.
I step from my father’s shadow
to stroke the blood-matted fur
of the dog left discarded on straw.
I know how it feels to be flayed.

Ryan Stone

First published by Algebra of Owls

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