Andrew Shields

Andrew Shields lives in Basel, Switzerland. His collection of poems “Thomas Hardy Listens to Louis Armstrong” was published by Eyewear in June 2015. His band Human Shields released the album “Somebody’s Hometown” in 2015 and the EP “D馥nse de jouer” in 2016.

 

Twitter: @ShieldsAndrew

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/andrewshieldspoems/

 

Chelsea

 

He put his hand in his pocket and pulled out

a never-ending skein of brightly colored yarn.

 

It was a relief to see that he hadn’t lost it.

He hated calling the insurance company.

 

From his other pocket, he took a pair of scissors

and snipped a piece of yarn to send to his mother.

 

He had been missing her lately, ever since she’d taken

that trip to Saks Fifth Avenue, or was it Harrods?

 

Maybe it was time to mix things up a bit,

think outside the box, nurture his inner child.

 

He took a left on Sydney Street, or was it

Hudson Boulevard? If only he could see a church,

 

then he would know where he was. He’d go in

and sit calmly in a pew until it got too cold.

 

That was the closest he ever got to prayer,

but at least he hadn’t lost the yarn.

 

Tundral Glories

 

Hurricanes of pollen and monsoons of sun

keep my thoughts from perishing.

Oriental row after Oriental row after …

            bedded in the ground.

 

A bouquet for every room

and a newly woven wreath,

accidental bows beside accidental bows

            dreaming in the ground.

 

            Such tundral glories taking over

            the waning days of this short season.

            Sick of all the transit, I will harvest wind,

                        let it blow away.

 

Cuban deserts bloom again

in my Himalayan yard.

All the daisies, all the sequoias and bonsais

            chosen carefully.

 

Wood for knocking, salt for luck,

porridge for the fox at night.

Tijuana flowers keep elephants away,

            poppies on the fringe.

 

            Such tundral glories taking over

            the waning days of this short season.

            Sick of all the transit, I will harvest wind,

                        let it blow away.