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  • By Lucius Falkland

Rosehip, Wilder Creatures & Other Poetry



Wilder Creatures


They say that these people have unusual features

Thin foreheads, small chins, narrow faces.

Compared to the “normies” they’re wilder creatures,

Much harder to put through their paces.

Like cats, they will jump at the tiniest noise.

Soft wool can scrape like cut glass.

And their species’ female’s friends with the boys:

Pariahed by the rest of the class.


Those hornet-nest dances of sociable lies:

She tries so hard, but she fails.

She copies each movement, the best hoverfly,

But it’s simpler, the fight among males.

Even they, unlike her, can filter things out:

Those granules of vain information.

There’s no sound or thought that she’s able to flout:

Her world’s one of magnification.


One word out of place, all changes direction,

Like a forest engulfed by a fire,

Resistant to logical, reasoned dissection:

Her heart thumps, her hand shakes. She’s tired

Of the lack of control, of the sulphuric swirl,

Of the barbs, from both pupils and teachers,

On how she’s a “selfish” and “difficult” girl:

Autistics have unusual features.


Her forearm’s embossed with a whitish-mauve mark;

A vagrant once branded for stealing.

She felt in control of her life as that spark

Enflamed and reached up for the ceiling.

Time seemed to stop, her heart seemed to race.

That moment she felt like a child

Pulsing with pleasure. A smile crossed her face.

They’re ever so slightly more wild.


The Rosehip


Modest oval fruit

Nestled among the roses,

Fragrant Chanel suits

Of conventional, delicate petals.

The Country Garden spring:

Some Alba, white, cerise.

What draws me to this little thing?

The rosehip.


The rosehip isn’t “plain.”

Is it, somehow, unassuming?

I don’t want my words to pain

Her, unpretentious beauty.

Like an Amish in her bonnet

Clopping past the knee-length skirts,

It’s she who evokes the sonnet.

Winds blow away the buds.


The filaments, the sepal

Of this tiny “pseudo-carp”

Just seem, somehow, familiar

Like a memory of some grassland

Where you played when you were four,

Perhaps by some pub in Dorset:

You’d played there once before,

And everything made sense.


Originally published by New English Review


The Same as Me and Yet She’s Trouble


The same as me and yet she’s trouble;

My ontological (female) double.

She holds a youthful glass to me

Which gleams, but also makes me see

The shadows in myself: The hate

And fury that just won’t abate,

Emerging in a trance-like state

Where if you irk me you’re third rate.

She’s all in me that’s bad and good.

You’ll never feel so understood,

Such other-worldly intimacy,

Than with yourself reborn as “she.”

It feels like life’s apotheosis

But harm can come from double doses.

The smoldering emotional rubble

She brings about, you’ll see your trouble.

You won’t work as a married couple:

You’re too alike, she is your double.


Lucius Falkland is the nom de plume of an academic and writer originally from London.

3 comments

3 Comments


ajsedia
Feb 23

All three of these are magnificent. I fully agree with the comment below that you definitely have a unique poetic voice that has personality. "The Rosehip" is lush in its imagery, and I like how the form loosens as the poem progresses in its discourse.


"The Same as Me . . ." was my personal favorite of the three. It makes a fairly mundane observation about a common trope about relationships, but turns it into something magical, and elusive enough to seem almost purely metaphorical.

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jm6783685
jm6783685
Feb 14

It's always a good sign when poems are full of personality and you feel you're meeting with somebody unusual and who is a real character. Even better when the means used are traditional and yet the effect of the poems is of something entirely new and difficult to classify. You feel you are being allowed to look at the world in an entirely new way. As if for the first time.


Not only that, the idiosyncratic character of the poet is here only a means to an end but never the end itself. He doesn't intend the reader to marvel at himself but at the world.


So little poetry these days does that.


Of course it will take time to…

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martinmccarthy1956
martinmccarthy1956
Feb 14

Lucius, I like your poem, 'Wilder Creatures' very much. It's so tender and touching and realistic - even, perhaps, courageous in that it tackles the difficult subject of 'autism and difference', which I know quite a lot about, being a former teacher, and also someone with a family member on the autism spectrum. Well done, indeed!

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