Oberon – by Noel Williams


No belt will take the holes, so he has string.
He’s loose, unravelling in the shoplight
against an arch of Gucchi,
pink stomach folds squinting where his button snapped.
Taxis jeer. The bus’s guppy door
won’t take him. He edges shoppers from the bench,
stirring with plastic soles the sludge of wrappers
where pigeons flatter him for crumbs.
Adjusting his crown from Burger King
and rictus grin he shoos them into order,
commands their bobs and curtseys
before they wing it into the silver sky
searching the breadcrumb trail.
And as they fly he wipes at greasespots
on the ripped strip of a Polaroid
bent in the pocket of his heart.




Noel Williams edits Antiphon (antiphon.org.uk), is Associate Editor for Orbis (www.orbisjournal.com) and occasionally mentors fellow writers. His poems have been published widely, won a few prizes, and he reviews for several magazines. His first collection was Out of Breath (Cinnamon Press, 2014). A pamphlet, Point Me at the Stars will appear in 2018.