2 Poems, by David Hanlon

Because Moths Aren’t Butterflies

In the shower, a moth
appears, an attention-
craving teenager, flying
about into cascading
water and back out again, whacking
itself against the surgical-
white-tiled wall,

each time. Plummets.
Shower curtain shift:
a sea frozen plastic-white;
tile-groove stare,
shower head hole-counting,
blunted-thistle-bright sponge massage:
crop circle lather.

Nozzle twist,
post-wash drip,
curtain call,
lifeless flapping,
helicopter seed wings near my feet,
dirtied: dust-brown,
maggot-stumped body,
pipe cleaner legs,

covered in shampoo foamed fur.
You’re gonna have to get out of there, buddy I said,
left the shower,
left it to die.
Terry cloth rubdown-caress:
air-soft skin,
now, sweeping brush bristle-
thick torment:
flesh, gum disease-red.

I replay its death,
plughole now my mouth:
just before it is washed
down my windpipe-drain,
a kaleidoscope of bright
colours, like brilliance,
across its outdated
wallpaper-patterned wings,
my lungs fill:

swimming pools into waterlogged graves;
light bulbs instead of sunlight.




“Life is a Spark”

“Life is a spark between two identical voids, the darkness before birth and the one after death.” ― Irvin D. Yalom, When Nietzsche Wept

A five-year-old boy is bursting with excitement before a sparkler is lit
and filled with disappointment when it goes out,
for a moment,
before discarding it
without hesitation
when handed a new one.
Does he remember the colourful shapes he made the first time?
Shapes unseen, unheard of before;
when his hand flowed freely,
sparkler a wand.
Or, are these lost on replacement
to the black void of the night sky?
Does he, with the next one, choose to write his name instead?
Sparkler a branding iron;
firework his title:
because beyond noise, light and smoke,
he knows
it’s something
he’ll always be remembered for.



Published 9th of April 2019


About David Hanlon

David Hanlon is from Cardiff, Wales, and currently living in Bristol, England. You can find his work online in Honey & Lime Lit, Dirty Paws Poetry Review, Into The Void & Barren Magazine, among others. You can follow him on twitter @DavidHanlon13