Clive Donavan


I slip another worm-bored plank to fire's core
and rest by ashes held in by rocks
I am safe enough with light reveries
but other gamers bring to my dreams insecurity 
and flavours of treacherousness an atmosphere
of bleak insincerity and chewing it over
I have to say hostility because 

yes I am not completely guiltless – by habit
thinking one thing and uttering another script
in this ramshackle film my bit-part co-stars in
but nor am I gullible stirring charcoal chucking on
some mixture of materials including I notice
ubiquitous flip-flops and a child's shoe laced
trying not to dwell on all the owners or toxic fumes

I drift off again oblivious like wave-jostled wood
but too many voices so many selves and I shudder 
awake shaking to sound of surf and popping fuel 
truly weary now ghost-wisps of white float I huddle in 
my sandy sacking gazing at a flame thrust another 
shoe child's laced eyes widely staring
into the embers not remembering


I have contributed to the jigsaw,
offered to the structure, my shape,
with no consideration of a box-lid picture,
much less scruples of aesthetic judgement
or naïve notions of free choice,
for who divided us?

Who ordained this cutting line,
the random, wandering, pattern divine?
So curious, I gaze upward,
seeking answers in sky
and as the haze solidifies;
the golden man, the trumpet, etcetera,

I find it, boundless in a cloud:
the hidden ingredient lacing the matrix,
the silver charm hidden deep in the duff.
And now come wild neutrinos spinning,
abandoning their parent suns...
that they to find their place, it is enough.

Clive Donovan devotes himself full-time to poetry and has published in a wide variety of magazines including Acumen, Agenda, Prole, Sentinel and Stand. He lives in Totnes, Devon, UK. He is a Pushcart and Forward Prize nominee for this year’s best individual poems and his first collection, The Taste of Glass, is recently published by Cinnamon Press.

Flights, Issue Five, June 2022