poor Ethelwald
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by Mark Anthony Pearce



A Pseudo Faust In The Covid Age


‘There’s nothing worse than a half-educated man’- M.E Smith


There was a time

My mother dreamt

Of books

With arms



And eyes

Attacking her

Because of

My obsession

Age has not

Cured my affliction

Now a library

Is growing


My bed

Daniel Dunglas Home

Attempts to levitate

Speaks with

The dead

Conjuring up

Rapping and knocks

Peter Saul’s

Day-Glo disgust

In manic palettes

Of reds and blues

Stars and Stripes

Have been exiled

To Tartarus

It’s a Pandora’s box

Of unread words


Is my pillow

And I am

A pseudo Faust

In the COVID Age


Bristol, May 2021



a line, (a short blue one)



You Gotta Do What You Gotta Do


On the train

Commute home

She took

The time

To comment

On the dead look

In my eyes

While I wondered

What the best

Face mask is

For glasses wearers

Work was over

I had returned

From the battle

With my limbs intact

She informed me

That WW2 fighter pilots

Took off their helmets

To cover their balls

‘You gotta do

What you gotta do’


Bristol, May 2021



a line, (a short blue one)



Harden Road


‘Get a fucking grip

Of yourself!

You’re a forty year

Old woman

Not ten!’

He is wearing

A short sleeved

Green shirt


Into his phone

In the broad daylight

On a Friday afternoon

Before retreating

To his car

No second act

Or curtain call


Bristol, June 2021



a line, (a short blue one)



Poor Ethelwald


Edgar the Peaceful

Had a friendly title

He wanted

To marry

A woman


For her beauty

But one of his

High ranking


Beat him to it

In retaliation

They say

The Peaceful

Had him slain


Like Rufus

In his

Hunting accident

And Edgar

Got the girl

Lost in the mists

Of time

There are other

Things to worry about

But a dear friend

Lights a candle

For the murdered Saxon

Meanwhile my candle

Is already

Burning at both ends

Hélas pour moi

And ha ha ha


Bristol, June 2021



a line, (a short blue one)



Haruspex On Braggs Lane


I watched

A seagull

Who like some

Ancient Roman

Discovered the will

Of the God’s


To information

Gathered by

Examining the entrails

Of a rat

I stared at

The rodents liver

Heart and intestines

But I had

No wings to fly with

The omens

We’re not looking good


Bristol, June 2021



a line, (a short blue one)



Knitting Helps His Anger Issues


He is trying

To write a book

About the tumour

That’s growing

Inside his head

The surgeons

Already poked

About inside it

His mother

Was drinking

Her life away

And made it clear

She didn’t give

Two shits

About the life

She squeezed

Out of her flaps

He’s a father

Of four

Can’t see

His first son

Because of

A toxic ex

And her

Twisted family

Another ex

Named an

Evil bitch

Tripped him up

On a stairwell

With a newborn

In his arms

He has a habit

Of naming his


After suicided

Pop singers


It is certainly

Possible that

The Illuminati

Killed them

There is

He tells me

An extraordinary video

On YouTube

About that

The names of the

Living and the dead

Are tattooed

On his arms

As reminders

He mentions

His sister

And a crazy

Ex boyfriend of hers

Who made the

Trip from Hanham

To Stockwood

Just to beat

The living crap

Out of her

He reads

A Felix Francis novel

To calm his nerves

And knitting

Helps his anger issues


Bristol, June 2021



a line, (a short blue one)



A Smile As Sad As Sunday


With brassy

Orange hair

And a smile

As sad

As Sunday

Can of Beer

In his right hand

Raising his head

Towards the heavens

He explained

That the clouds

Contained diseases

He once

Was a soldier

And his spine

Had shrivelled up


London, June 2021



a line, (a blue one)


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