On the estate's edge, the poppies sway in
bundles, on this small wasteland patch, a
centre of tranquil peace among the greying
roofs and crooked smiles.

The street's unnerving calm seems to stare
through me, knowing I'm an unwilling intruder.
With my head bowed, I show respect towards it's

At the first buzz of traffic I feel the vibrations give
way, and I allow myself to stand for a minute, whilst
I avoid the fists and yells, that fly like lightning forks
over my head.

And those red cups of leaves still sway, as the stolen
cars pass the naked children building mud castles in
the central reservations.

Their heads like those leaves, that slice through the
cries and cracked windows like fading sunbeams,
and fail the darkness every time.

Out To Play

Hands now much too large to throw stones, and the old streets
seem far narrower than before; my voice broke on this very

The old park now rejuvenated, the gloss and shine a blanket
smothering the remnants of our drunken capers.

There now seems pride in what was once damned; the back
streets like picturesque cells, with tags and vomit clinging to
the walls like limpets.

And I feel their shadows return, my tongue like a race dog
waiting in the trap, my glance facing forward, hoping
this storm will slowly pass.

Without taking breath, I walk forward unrecognised, their
conversation devoid of skin and soul, and I see their crowns
remain as steady as ever.

If the mouths could stop just once

The brush is laid to one side, pushed under mattered
carpets by mouths that seem unable to close at their
own will.

Their words flap in verbal winds, like old curtains hanging
from single glazed windows.

Hands fly in all directions, their fingers doped snakes,
dancing to the charmers out of tune drones.

And the unfilled hours pass, these words replace palette
knife and pen, and the hordes forget at last, just what two
colours run together correctly.

Jonathan Butcher has been writing poetry for around four years, and has had work appear in various on-line and print magazines including: Underground Voices, Black Listed Magazine, The Shot Glass Journal and Unquiet Desperation. He lives in Sheffield in the north of England.

2004-2012 Underground Voices