Four Poems & Visual Art – Anton Pooles

Blue Jay

A splash of blue amid the rubble
of wooden planks and rusty nails
like an underground lake
not yet seen by the naked eye.
Dive in, feel the sting of cold water.
There are no etchings on the walls,
no history revealed.

The Way Down to the Lake

has no obstacles except for five
bone-white trees reaching out
from the cold ground like fingers.
Hundreds of years ago he was
killed by the boy named Jack.

Moth Man

My grandfather
collected butterflies.

He kept them in oak boxes,
on a green wall.

I asked him once,
what’s the fascination?

They’re magicians,
he said, in love
with illusion.


Prove it.

He spread the wings
of the dead leaf butterfly.

Can you see the sunrise
over the ocean?

I cannot.

That’s because you have
a moth’s heart

Ant Man

A nickname
transformed me into
a metropolis of bone and blood-streams —
where I housed hundreds.

Every part of me had a use;
my brain a storage room,
my eyes watchtowers,
my heart a palace for the queen.

But, they vanished with the nickname,
leaving only empty pockets
where nests once were.

Anton Pooles @AntonPooles was born in Novosibirsk, Siberia and lives in Toronto. He is the co-editor at Cypress: A Poetry Journal, and his poems have appeared in Long Con Magazine, Half a Grapefruit, Train, and others. His chapbook, Monster 36 was published with Anstruther Press (2018).

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