About Alan Reynolds

Poet born and raised in North Carolina and now after a sojourn in England a long-time resident of the Netherlands. More than 4,000 poems, many published in US and UK literary magazines and on CD and in books.

Sour Striver, Aeon Diver

He remembered being human
especially the last time:
striving, thriving, and passionate
about the hills he’d climb
faster than his fellows would.
They would stop and admire the view.
He never stopped until he dropped
and bid that life adieu.

He’d lain in a lane at Lidl.
He had breathed out and not breathed in,
expiring without inspiration
but the wordplay made him grin.

He’d then slid through the edge of a non-ending void
perhaps the same one as before.
After aeons spent there, plus one life as a bear
and a spate where he’d raved ‘never more’

he rejoined a queue of the unchosen few
to apply for a chance of rebirth
as a human again hoping this time he’d win
enough wisdom to live filled with mirth.

Disastrous Reigns

Shadows claim me with a sense of obligation
that is the stronger since I know it is unfounded.
I stand in shallows of an edgeless river;
I try to remember towns that it contains.
I was born downstream of here in a coastal city,
a term we are forgetting now they are gone.
Behind me a dwindling people marches on.

I conflate thoughts no one should need to have.
The short disastrous reigns of evil emperors…
Rains, reins, reigns. It’s criminally late to care.
Whose fault is it we let democracy die?
Were Von Trumpf and Pinz the plague’s causatives or symptoms?
We groped too vigorously in the cookie jar.
When we broke it we rejoiced at the noise.

I conflate thoughts no one should need to have.
’Why not,’ Mad Hatter asked, ‘give war a chance?’
We did. We fought. We died. We are still too many
for Earth to feed, now we have broken Her.
We did not break the Earth. At most we scratched
or irritated Earth, till She broke free
of Her patience for the spreading skin disease

(I conflate thoughts no one should need to have)
we were to Her. Her ancient Deccan Traps
reopened. She ignited Yellowstone.
Stood in silt, I feel fish graze my legs.
There are no fish. Plastic trash is what I feel.
Plastic: the ice-nine we gave to Earth
before we began to capitalise Her Name
and venerate Her, the way we do with Things
and People once we’ve killed them and they’re gone.

Alone in shade-stuck shallows you’d think I’d drown
but someone sees and hails me. We march on.

DREAM STARS travels electronically

It is fun and new for me to have an ebook on Amazon I put my first one ever there on July 1. As a paperback it would take time for DREAM STARS to get around. But I hear the ebook has already been downloaded and read in far-apart places: Amsterdam, Colorado, England, Alabama, Ecuador …

DREAM STARS 1 July 2020 announcement

Gruyere-Some Squeals Are Heard, I Hope

Here is a chant royal written a while back (1997) in homage to a super poet, Neil Harding, creator, when he was not pursuing Eastern modes such as sushi and rings a crumpet, of many a character trumping Punch’s Bargepole, some mentioned in the scree below in answer to his Anon a mouse series of cult fame.

When summer peaks and days start turning short
and wainscots creak and the blooming mouse does that,
comes blooming out as I take my first snort
of the morning, cor, I’m off to buy a cat.
A great large cat with eyes like rancid peas
and whiskers curling up so he must sneeze.
He’ll grab that mouse and gobble him with haste
while his brows recede at the truly horrid taste
of the tail and toes and bit that was the brain.
He’ll chew and smack till nought’s left but some paste
and seaside sparrows shiver in the rain.

When Ma Mouse whelps, it’s too late to abort
and her litter lands with giggles, squeals, and splat
and I drop the book where I’m reading of young Wort
and the dog gives chase and Ma runs out the flat.
But a nonagon staircase catches her lice and fleas
that flee as she runs, and cold flue makes them freeze
and Anon’s won’t grow up if he dares to waste
his chance to steal and grows up a pantywaist
who won’t gnaw cheese while the cat’s deaf from the train
that rumbles by while the polled fleas fall unplaced
and seaside sparrows shiver in the rain.

Now a mouse or twenty scarcely make a quart
but unlike gerbils you can’t keep them in your hat
because housebroken’s not what they’ve been taught
and they’re naught but midget mirrors of the rat.
As a midget rat with a squeal and rickety knees
who weasels on debts and often cops his pleas,
Anon’s not cute and it’s high fun to lambaste
his hide and catch him hopping, hot, shamefaced,
with his rat snout shining through the window pane
where clouds reflect how hares are oft more chaste
and seaside sparrows shiver in the rain

Old Anon’s author is a poet who can’t be bought
or I’d offer him a drop and invite him in to chat
of the cricket and whether he thought Botham ought
to have gone to Cape Town and taken his turn at bat,
not that I care about old histories
but he might forget to write mice, and I’d tease
for a flatman story, or a barge pole to impaste
that bleeding mouse with. No, I’m not two-faced
and I want my satire dark and that he’ll abstain
from mousing while the heavy stuff’s disgraced
and seaside sparrows shiver in the rain

A burger-queen kit-kat mouse house can’t be fraught
with rooms where royal chants can get to bat,
so rodent cultures are what we must thwart
to make our Weaver write a requiescat
or other work to take in hand our kidneys
or make sly fun of what’s begun (bard, please!).
I dream a dream, with cats, of how a whey-faced
mouse of some repute is banished, Samothraced
not to return because out there there’s ratsbane
and whips ensuring mice get steeplechased
and seaside sparrows shiver in the rain

O Weaver! Weavers! Help Anon get aced
so Wimbledon and cricket can regain
our oh-so-small attention spans. Let pain
pan-fry the mouse until at last he’s plaiced
and seaside sparrows shiver in the rain.

Reelecting the Villains

Poeticising. Dreaming in the Word Mill.
Kaleidoscope-colliding observations.
Scenes sharply seen seem seamed with those imagined.
More esses than a snake can shake a stick at
go moseying along so slickly, that could Moses
see them shifting shape, he’s think his own trick poor.
To trick the poor into voting for reelection
of the villains who impoverished them last time
and other subjects mastermind the poem
that won’t get written. I’m poeticising.

Catherine Darc

She is waiting for the death bug unaware
that she is waiting for the death bug. She is bored.
Her life remains a trick she’ll double dare,
like life did her, presenting her the gourd
of plenty when she asked it for a sword.
She had wanted war, a war to make things right.
War came and went and though her throat felt tight
she can’t remember details like who won.
She is waiting. Will the death bug come tonight?
She does not know what they’ve agreed upon.

Note: Catherine Darc, whose initials became in the late 20th Century synonymous with electronically stored music, was in her lifetime (early 15th Century) a non-celebrity.

Here I am imagining for her that she lived a long, peaceful life while hankering for the passion, armed conflict and bright, gaudy fame that was the lot of her sister Jehanne (Joan of Arc).