Gordon Scapens

Widely published over many years in numerous magazines, journals, anthologies and competitions Currently preparing a collection. Lives in a suburb of Preston with his wife, who’s friend, critic, muse and editor. Plays acoustic guitar averagely to her singing.



At the checkout
the frail old lady,
watery eyes sunk
in a pale face,
implies shabbiness
to a bypassing world.
Still she smiles.

There are three items
in her basket
without choices,
and the price is paid
by unsteady hands
with coins skilled
in survival techniques.

She is being reduced
to a learning curve
on subsistence levels
by such economies
she faces daily
without complaint.

Poverty that stalks her
will outlive her,
but her life is a revolt
against all the lives
she had no chance to live,

enjoyed by others.
Is this called progress?


And what if fear
should accost you
and take away
your very breath.
And what if this fear
wore an expensive suit,
read the weather forecast.

And what if it was
too late to turn back
and catastrophes
were eating life styles,
disasters counting deaths.

And what if nobody was left
that you could pray to,
all the experts
were suddenly speechless,
warriors laid down arms
for the final battle,
and rulers went missing
after failing to inherit the earth.

What words would you have
to offer your descendants?
Responsibility is coming
to a face near everyone,
and what if sorry isn’t enough.
We live our lives
looking in a false mirror,
whatever will be left
we will deserve.


Maddy has a passion
for walking the streets,
looking for diamonds
always missing
from her life.

When she returns,
a recall of faces
is threaded together
into the anchor
of a happy ending.

She pours a drink,
rehashes the blessings
of living alone,
lets the tears flow
on a subtle pain.

She faces the future
like an envelope
without an address.

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