Poem 174 – Fusion Cooking

blend together
two unrelated
cuisines or musical

a fusion dish
of novel taste
an auditory

two particles
at speed into
a forced collision

explosive wave
of energy
reveals sub-
atomic secrets

grab unrelated
ideas and hurl
together hard
to see what happens

conceives surprising
ideas and insights

a man, a woman
heat up their hormones
stir DNA
and leave to sit

new life erupts
through pain and joy
familiar yet
distinctly different

But still…
we build
our walls
close down
the channels
shut down
take cover
our slogans
of what
might be
and be

This started life as a poem about poems and metaphors for World Poetry Day, but finished up as something quite different as I combined not just this and other interests of mine whilst reflecting on a local hotel housing asylum seekers.

© Ben Quant 2023
Photo by John Legrand on Unsplash

Poem 150 – Merry Christmas

Some thirty years ago. The first text.
A simple ‘Merry Christmas’ changed the world.
One SMS and now we’re glued to both,
Our screens in digital isolation and,
Each other in a myriad of ways.
In Bethlehem, the birth of a different sort
Of revolution, was in a manger laid.
Two thousand years ago it needed angels,
And shepherds with their sheep to share the news.

Today is the 30th anniversary of the first text message, a simple Merry Christmas https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-63825894.

© Ben Quant 2022

Poem 140 – Brother Sun (or The Summer of ’22)

Lethargy reigns, the air is all sucked out
We slope around the room, moving as little
As we can get away with, stultified
Regretfully wishing the time away, we long
For rain, an end to endless heat, but then
I know we’ll wish for sunny days once more

A companion to Poem 139 – Sister Moon. I know I said I was taking a bit of a break from writing to focus on my these, but I woke up with the first line in my head. It’s been a long hot summer…

© Ben Quant 2022
Photo by James Day on Unsplash

Poem 136 – Captain Nature

Life finds a way somehow
Its superhero strength
Will overcome even
The most formidable
Opponent in its path
Yet even superman
Was vulnerable, made weak
By kryptonite struck down
So as the temperature rises
I wonder if we’ll prove
To be Achilles’ heel
Ushering in its downfall

I spotted this sapling impressively bursting through a nearby tarmac path, and it got me thinking about the patient strength of nature.

© Ben Quant 2022

Poem 119 – Changes

A jellied blob hangs in suspended spew.
Within, a dot becomes a growing eye,
That stares continually with many colleagues.
This froth, a stew of rich ingredients,
Together with the spark divine provides,
Impulse to life, wriggling in expansion.
A heart is born that beats the blood along,
The forming tail that from its cell propels,
The tadpole into water’s liberty.
This state is not its end, however, but,
A transitory phase. Before our eyes,
Impossibly it strains beyond, fingers,
Outstretched, extending from new reaching limbs.
New features grow as old ones fade, along,
With its truncating tail as with a croak,
The frog appears and fully free leaps skywards;
Yes, even greater than Bowie’s, this is
The miracle of metamorphosis.

Over the long Easter weekend we went looking around local ponds on the lookout for frogspawn. The journey from dot to frog never ceases to amaze me.

© Ben Quant 2022

Poem 111 – Circular Identity

Remember childhood years that stretched
Where nothing seemed to change at all
Except our teeth. Remember how
They used to hang on fragile threads
Forever, wiggled by the tongue
Until one day they disappeared?

Eventually a switch was flicked
New genes asserted influence
A sudden surge, the teenage kick
With child and adult overlaid
Doubly exposed awhile before
The hormone shock shook out the child
A whiskey burn that makes us wince

A newborn person stands before
A mirror wondering ‘Who am I?
Where is the manual that informs
Us how to be a grown-up in
This strange and unfamiliar world?’
Until one day a match is made
Where each completes the other’s question

A few years on the subject shifts
A babe becomes its object as
We ask who it might take after
Ironic really as our process
Of metamorphosis has ended
The circle finally has closed
And we’ve become our parents and
The children’s teeth are getting loose

Nature or nurture?

© Ben Quant 2022

Poem 104 – The Bridge

Spanning the Avon, Brunel’s triumphant feat
Stands proud above the watery cleft below
Industrial muscles clenched it takes the strain
Delivering passengers safety across

Stone feet stand firm upon opposing banks
But this world in between belongs to neither
In this suspended realm we stand apart
A liminal existence ruled by none

This dreamy space is transient despite
His mighty toil in sweat and steel to hold
This is the place for wistful lovers’ strolls
Where free, hot air balloons do ride the sun

Studies have occupied my time this week, but promoted by WordPress’ wordpromt ‘bridge’, here’s an ode to one I’ve got to know over the last few years.

© Ben Quant 2022

Poem 100 – Hancock’s Disciple*

Queuing, I wait to offer up my pint
Of haemoglobin, ordinary, red
And wonder how do interest rates affect
Deposits made? What bank charges apply?
Eventually I pass through triage and
Am strapped into my seat, arm bared, a cross
Between a theme park ride and electric chair
Before being lowered horizontal.
Engaging with the nurse in idle chat
Helps to distract my focus from the needle.
She looks a little stressed, perhaps she needs
It too. I hope it brightens up her day.
The jab. I wince feeling intrusion, pain.
It doesn’t last. Quickly relaxing I
Unclench and flow, my fingers moving to
My heart’s strong calming beat. I find it both
A reassurance and concern to note
How fast I’m done. I’m glad someone is there
To close my running tap and plug the hole.

To celebrate reaching my hundredth poem, I gave blood.
* Tony that is, not Matt! (https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x5hjsjq

© Ben Quant 2022

Poem 83 – Covid Guidelines

I’m still working on ‘The Visitation of Black Shuck’, it’s coming along nicely. In the meantime today I was challenged to rewrite the church’s Covid guidance to those hiring it for parties in verse. Over I quick cup of tea, I hastily threw this together… a bit of light relief

Our doors are open
Please come and visit
But don’t forget
We’re in a pandemic

Here are the guidelines
For us to follow
Please pop on a mask
And open a window

It’s not so wise
To gather in the middle
Don’t overcrowd
Spread out a little!

But if in the end
You’re stuck isolating
We’re more than content
To help rearranging!


© Ben Quant 2022

Poem 77 – WWW.

They say you can be lonely in a crowd
Feel isolated, solitary even, in
A throng of others densely gathered round
The tree, perhaps, resides in this position
Bearing so tall, so mighty and so proud
Aloof, and self-sufficient, self-assured
Possessive, owning its own patch of ground
The tree’s an isolated individual
Yes, even in a wood this seems the case
They congregate but each stands on their own
There’s no society found in this place
Where every trunk extends skyward alone
But this estrangement’s our misapprehension
Their interaction’s taking place elsewhere
As down beneath our feet there’s conversation
Within the soil a constant silent prayer
Communing in earth’s cold and damp, dark bed
Along pale fibres intercessions flow
Their whispers spread through mediating threads
Ubiquitous networks of fungal growth
No tree in isolation stands but each
By every other in the wood is cared
No one in need finds it is out of reach
As warnings, news and nutrients are shared
We celebrate the world wide web’s creation
Enabling arms to reach around its girth
But nature could have been our inspiration
Its wood wide web first stretched throughout the earth

I was first properly introduced to the concept of the wood-wide-web when reading Underworld by Robert Macfarlane (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40643657-underland). He writes of the infectious enthusiasm of Merlin Sheldrake (https://www.merlinsheldrake.com/), one of the leading researchers into this symbiotic relationship between trees and fungus, which allows communication across vast areas in ways which until very recently we were unaware of. Absolutely fascinating. His ‘Entangled Life’ is next on my reading list…

© Ben Quant 2022