Ian Hunter is wary of an unexploded poem


Of course,
we shouldn’t have gone,
but there was the lure
of abandoned buildings.
Signs which said
Unexploded poem,
I explained to the others.
Three of us ran the shadows down.
Peeking into the smouldering crater
to see the pulsing star of invention.
Colours, ideas, and images,
rhymes and reason,
comparisons and truths,
all residing in a crackling ball of energy
Which died before us.
Pulse slowing.
Colours merging into bright red,
then collapsing to black.
Hearts in our mouths, we ran.
Trying to get away
before the unexploded poem exploded
Now Pauline seems snooty, aloof.
Always talking in short, clipped sentences
that end in a surprising haiku moment.
While Joey stands below
yet another bedroom window.
Using sonnets to praise
the beauty inside,
until the latest court order moves him on.
And as if cursed or under a spell,
I find that I can speak in rhyme.
Just by touching this shrapnel,
without fail, every, single, time.

* Ian Hunter is a director of the Scottish writer’s collective known as Read Raw. His poems have appeared in various places in the UK, the USA and Canada.


  1. Anonymous

    Totally fabul-
    ous and astonishingly
    explosive. More please.

  2. Anonymous

    Nice idea, well executed.

  3. Anonymous

    Charles Christian writes… We will have more from Ian later this summer.

  4. Anonymous

    Terrific! Leads to the subversive suggestion: let's form a guerilla -poet society dedicated to exploding unexploded poems among the general population so that even dolts might think, after they recover from the shock, and their first thought might be “I get it!!!”.

  5. Anonymous

    Ian's poem takes me back to the days of the Quatermass series on the radio, or more correctly the wireless. I have often wondered what the mysterious UFO in the London Underground was really all about. Now I know. It was Martians looking for unexploded poems.
    Gwilym Williams

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