2 Poems by Sean Chapman

diffusing my bunkmate.
at night and often times
during the day I share
a bunk bed with a sulky skeleton.
he has dynamite for limbs—
thick red shafts
intertwined with anger
and perilously pinioned
by fuses—terminating
to firecrackers flickering
and popping with each knuckle rap.
he likes to annoy and attack
with small detonations
triggered by the smallest of sleight—
cunningly controlled, just as I would nod off
and relax—I startle
to see a wide beaming bomb
chuckle and snort—hard to handle
often my only recourse is a preemptive strike
a firebreak
when I light up
five minutes outside taking a drag
a diffusion of smoke
stops our nervous
settles us down.

Thinking of her.
A long way from home
with eyes relaxing softly
into a slanted sleep, the face
of a golden Labrador—present
and resting among yellowing
grasses, absorbing the warmth
of the evening sun
while watching
the wide brimmed hat—
sheltering a man from the fading day.
As honest as evenfall, they return
for their sunday pilgrimage
to visit a grave—the headstone
that reminds them both
of what they wish
they could retrieve,
of the one that’s waiting
in the tall grasses
billowing in foreign winds,
somewhere over the horizon,
of the mother and companion
that once lay here
under the selfsame stars
sniffing toward a shying sky.

Sean Chapman is a British writer living in Cornwall beside the capricious Atlantic Ocean and amongst the blur of a blue Whippet and a red fox Labrador. His prolonged and wayward adolescence included working in a Taiwanese astrophysics department, on a Salford mental health ward, on the Liverpool docks and in a Manchester disability support office, before washing ashore in a Cornish surf shop. Between daydreams of cowboy adventures and surfing escapades he writes poems, dedicated to Maggie, some of which have appeared or are forthcoming in Marble Poetry, Raceme, Prole, Dreich, The Pomegranate London, Trouvaille Review and Anti-Heroin Chic.

He can be found on Twitter @seanchapman_1.