The Waterfront and other poems by MJ Duggan




In my right eye I feel an old friend has returned

awakening an ancient being,


deceiving the light hidden in Winter evening

grazing in the spectrum of my day.

Clashed imaginings held inside the day’s sediment

voices caught on canvas in morbid praise,

a corrugated tint of moonlight


in frictions of a gown in velvet union.


Suckling on the silver god

Revelling in this enlightened and dark morality

that lived in the throw away prayer of favour,


a leech

to the immediate truths,

just a mask in daylight hiding in the shades of inner dusk.






I want a square of dryland

no darkness held together with fake plastic neon lamps,

a tomb of soundbaked polythene,

no drone like eyes

a permanent irisstacked in accomplishing circles in source,


comforting only the burial of day thoughts.

No hiding place for us

every door is an eye behind another window,


each frame of glass a caught moment

that we can upload and analyse at will.


No hiding place for us

we are the grains of salt glued between the fingers of the state,

human timers with numbers and a skin

the loyal paladin that is kept as a trusted mouthpiece,

the tread of excrement that smoothers the soft leather on the boardroom floor.








On Saturday I watched the echo in the river

fast rain a slanted line of spears,

piercing the muddy red pinpricked surface

while a changing sky controls light from blemish,


along the waterfront I walk!


Open window                      mulled wine and German markets

screwed up betting slips piled                       in empty foamed glasses,

cigarette stubs trail             to boisterous plastic tables,


Where a homeless man sales ‘The New Scientist’

beside a busker who is strumming on a waterproof guitar,


the day-walkers and afternoon drunks

journey home before evening begins its quest.

The fat rain comes in short bursts

aswe huddle in shelter and shop entrance

running for that space of dry and bare land,

before the greyish colours turn into a midnight black.







I remember that unfortunate day

dew stuck to leaves

like crystallised sticky diamonds,


I only wanted fairness for rights and pay

yetbranded as some revolutionary tyrant,


In these battered chains of Assize

a planter of the Union seed,

the crime

a lexicon of closed liesI, yet another victim from Whiggery.


I’m not plotting blood lust insurrection

they Curbed and imploded the union of working men,


sentencing me to a colony for transportation

no matter how much the mob displayed their own objections,

I held the union

close to my chest

from Tasmanian cell of sweat brown pit,

my name is Mr Loveless

I’m one of the Dorset Six.









When a friend passedbetween the lock of spring


light of summer,


moonlight jarred and hazy shina humming of a life in vested colour,

did we waste our hours in these working skins ?


Resting where you once lay your head

gathering up folded brown boxes,

thedust fell from the chin of Lafayette

overfilled square ashtray clunky glasses

decaying cigarette ends like the lines of dead confetti,

now a carpeted oblong pathway.


I can see the image of you still laughing at this world into the next

dead red vein craved into pimpled thousands

andcircling your tin of Jack.


I packed your material into a dozen empty boxes

nothing more than a paused memory plastic case

material would only remain a still in time

moments frozen dust of ash                    buried and gone.








Born 1971 Bristol UK, MJ is working on his second collection of poems Dystopia 38.10, He has had many poems published in journals and magazines such as The Dawntreader, The Seventh Quarry, Apogee Journal, Roundyhouse, The Journal, The Cobalt Review, Jawline Review, Poetry Quarterly, Illumen, Sarasvati, and many more.

No Comments Yet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.