12 Poems
by Mark Anthony Pearce




For Danny D Ford


Danny saw

A dead dog

The morning

Of his birthday

It’s legs

Pointing skyward


Stuck in Salento

Where so

Many of the

Olive trees

Had croaked it

They had

Some pandemic

Of their own

Some rare disease

That stripped them

Of their spunk

Amongst red earth

Amongst cacti

And straight roads

Straight dead roads

As dead

As Ancient Romans



Bristol, July 2021




a black line



Forty Three Trees 


"Year Zero", the dawn of an age in which there will be no families, no sentiment, no expressions of love or grief,

no medicines, no hospitals, no schools, no books, no learning, no holidays, no music, no song, no post, no money

– only work and death.


-Year Zero: The Silent Death of Cambodia - John Pilger


A young man stands

Outside my front door

Smokes a cigar


The merits

Of Communism

Another young man

With dreadlocks

Earlier this evening

Tells me how he

Saved the world

This year by


Forty three trees


He insists

Is the future


Bristol, August 2021




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The Tough Muscled One


She doesn’t

Know his name

The tough muscled one

Daniel? Patrick?

All she knows

Is that he’s

Trying to

Be James Bond

On the telly

And he’s good as

An action man

While she enjoys

Her evening

And I lie on

My bed

In the dark

She asks me

What it is

I am doing

And I tell her

Nothing at all

And I showed

Her this poem


Bristol, September 2021




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Covid Threat


Once upon a time

One April

He had a closed fracture

On his skull

Sometimes his piss

Is dark orange


There is a nasty smell

One thing is for sure

He’ll never get his PCR

He is going to come

And pay me a visit

And cough all over my face


Bristol, October 2021




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Tatiana Winked At Me


Popped into

The Heart Foundation

To see what more

Books I might find

More books

I’ll never read

Found a book

About loneliness

The words cut deep

But I put it back

Quickly on the shelf

There was poetry

By Mary Wilson

Harold’s wife

And an inscribed

Dedication to a Joyce

In July of ‘79

Wasn’t this about

The time the Ex PM’s

Colon cancer

And Alzheimer’s kicked in?

I know I found a title

Of short stories

By Ribeyro

When I went to

The counter

To purchase

Tatiana stood

Behind the counter

Black haired

And unattainable

I noticed her name

On some

Funky lanyard

Hanging round

Her pretty

Little neck

Once my coins

Found their way

To her lovely

Spider fingers

She winked at me

And I thought

I might explode

Thankfully not

In my pants

I left the shop

Very confused

The next week

I returned

Found another book

I’d never read

And there

She was again

But she didn’t

Wink at me

This time

And I left the shop


My pure soul



Bristol, November 2021




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You Don’t Read Vaptsarov To Bulgarian Women In Bed


You don’t read Vaptsarov

To Bulgarian women in bed

Especially if they are

87 years old

And have only been

To London once


Was a man of honour

And you are not


And you are not

You don’t read Vaptsarov

To Bulgarian women in bed

If you are not aware

Of their painful history

He was intelligent

And you are not

He was a poet

And you are not


Bristol, December 2021




a black line



Broad Weir (S10)


A familiar face

At the bus stop

Is critiquing

The octagonal shape

Of a Quality Street

Chocolate tin

Yearning for

It’s round

Historical design

The old man

Sitting next to him




In the sex column

Of a newspaper


Bristol, January 2022




a black line



Terry’s Fending Boredom 


Terry was going

To spend some

Money on paint

To freshen up

His living room

But the purity

Of the heroin

Is very poor

And he gets


Nothing from it


Bristol, February 2022




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The Soldiers Of Snake Island Are Alive, Thank Goodness


I’m not talking

Out of my ass

The invasion

Didn’t surprise her

But the soldiers

Of Snake Island

Are alive

Thank goodness


Her father started

Radiation therapy

This week

But his brother

Is still a

Malignant narcissist


Bristol, March 2022




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Her Uterus Was Trying To Kill Her


‘That’s unpleasant’


would be acceptable’


Bristol, April 2022




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Reading Heberto Padilla By The Walcot Chapel


‘History alone does nothing’

Said the Poet

And he calls me his friend

‘History is not enough’

It was never enough

‘It does absolutely nothing’

He speaks of Marx

And man made events

While I sit upon green grass

Thinking of the dead

As the bell tolls six

A dog named Hugo

Lead around its neck

Heads towards the bushes

Where it takes a piss


Bath, May 2022




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A 50 Pence Smile


She sat on the

Pavement of

Old Market Street

Reading a


Religious pamphlet

Like a Priest

With his breviary

She smiled

And I awarded her

A 50 pence coin

She blessed me

And hoped that

I would soon

Stop limping

But I couldn’t tell

This smiling Jesus

That it was simply

My usual way

Of walking


Bristol, June 2022




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