Darren J Beaney

Darren J Beaney has an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Brighton. He is one half of Flight of the Dragonfly a regular spoken word night based in Brighton and on Zoom. He also co-edits Flights an e-journal of poetry, prose and flash fiction. He cuts his own hair. He enjoys music, predominantly punk rock. His favourite author is Orwell and he enjoys the work of numerous poets. He loves Marmite and appreciates a good pint of craft IPA.  He lives in sunny East Preston on the West Sussex coast, with his lovely family, Their rescue dog Woody and rescue cats Annie and Eddie.

His debut pamphlet Honey Dew (a collection of 21 love poems) was published by The Hedgehog Poetry Press in December 2020. The follow up to Honey Dew – The Machinery of Life – was published The Hedgehog Poetry Press in July 2021.

He has a website – www.djbeaney.com and he sometimes lurks on Twitter – @DJ_Be_An

Flight of the Dragonfly –

T: @DragonfliesSW

Streets of Hong Kong

Black puddles flicker, 
with grease floating on the surface of glowing water.            Wide-open grinning girls
chirping at rubbernecking, fly-by-night Western faces.         Throngs 
of rushing people. Fast locals, 
shoulders scrunched, heads down lost in screens.       Mixed mobs 
of utterly unaccomplished tourists 
carried along by tidal waves of masses.         Lights fogging 
out the atmosphere. All neon electric buzz.        Bustle 
fuelling the noise, a constant 

hum and vibration 
of people.         An odour lingers
in the air, nasty, criminal. It cuts 
the back of my throat. Chokes. Covering my breathing 
with a hand of malice.             Every street is littered 
with food fenders, selling what? Sea creatures? 
prehistoric bits and pieces of animals?          Eyes, ears, 

nose, mouth all force-fed and overworked.        Senses spin.         
Sight + sound blurring.         Taste + smells 
becoming one, toxic, nerve shredding.        Complete sensory overload. 
Stomach churning
with hunger,  lurching at the geography  and  distance.         
My mind in freefall 
from time change       and       no sleep       and       culture shock. 
Jetlagged.           Reeling 
at the excitement of it all.  

Negotiating the island by tramway

Clamber on at the back         Causeway Bay          ding ding.         
Climb tight-fit stairs, 
take my pick of rattling seats. 
The undertone of commuter chatter
a fine accompaniment to the noise 
the trendy tram makes as it trundles along time
worn tracks. A distinctive sound 
I cannot pin a name to.

The tram labours along Arsenal Street, edging 
onto Admiralty Square. Gazing out 
grubby windows I see no end 
to the procession 
of trams stretching like a slumbering Chinese dragon,
colonial artefacts left behind by us Brits 
when we conceded empire. Moving landmarks 
riding the legendary lines, toiling, now 
the greenest travel on the island. 

I contemplate the rise of Cotton Tree Drive 
as the no holds barred boneshaker fidgets along.
Finally, I descend 
toward the front.  Thanking the earnest driver                     唔該 (m̀hgòi)                
leave my single coin fare. 			Back in the now.

Disembark            Man Wah Lane            ding ding.

View of the mainland

This soulless place reflects its lack of charm
in the cadaver coloured water of the harbour.

Drab low clouds hang forlorn.

Mist dangles like web sprayed from a can, 
over the summits of the tallest buildings. Towers
show off, scraping holes into the Oriental sky,
jostle for space. Cramped footings 
leave standing room only.

The air smells like a perpetual storm, drained of thunder.
And the rain displays its full force,
in the rat-a-tat-tat 
I hear a military parade.

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