silence enforced, stray giggles gross,
like church, sly farts a deadly sin.
Weird glass-eyed fiends with goblin ears,
like guides in sandals stalking through
a nettle patch, no warning signs,
their siren blasts remove cold tramps
or drunks on drowsy afternoons.
Kids in a gang are history,
the rest, at least those ones who’ve brought
their forms back signed by mum, your guilt
or innocence their call, one strike
you’re hooked, paws scrutinised before
you get to stay or handle books.
Peter Branson, a native of N. Staffordshire, has lived in a village in Cheshire, UK, for the last twenty-six years. A former teacher and lecturer in English Literature and creative writing and poetry tutor, he is now a full time poet, songwriter and traditional-style singer whose poetry has been published by journals in Britain, the USA, Canada, Ireland, Australasia and South Africa, including Acumen, Ambit, Agenda, Envoi, The London Magazine, The North, Prole, The Warwick Review, Iota, The Butcher’s Dog, The Frogmore Papers, The Interpreter’s House, SOUTH, Crannog, THE SHOp, Causeway, Main Street Rag, The Columbia Review and Other Poetry. He has won prizes and been placed in a number of poetry competitions over recent years, including a ‘highly commended’ in the ‘Petra Kenny International’, first prizes in the ‘Grace Dieu’ and the ‘Envoi International’ and a special commendation in the Wigtown. His selected poems, ‘Red Hill, came out in 2013. His latest collection, ‘Hawk Rising’, from ‘Lapwing’, Belfast, was published in early April 2016.