Poetry

George Gordon Byron, 6th Baron ByronIn 1985, a British Romantic Period Literature class changed my life. The poetry of Byron, Shelley, and Keats wakened in me a passion for writing. I determined to somehow make a career of it—and somehow feed my children.

Since then I’ve worked exclusively in publishing, first for game companies, now in education. I also continue to write, study, and promote poetry. It’s my opinion that poetry used to belong to the people, until academics stole it. It’s high time to steal it back from them.

Lady of Pain

Lester : November 27, 2014 12:24 am : Game Design, Poetry
Spellfire: Weasel Attack

Lady of Pain
(for Adam White)

“You guys are jerks,” Steve says. A dawning haze

of horror fills his eyes. I lay more cards. He’s

still. I raise his champion to highs

he never dreamed, then steal it, turn it, hose

his few remaining troops. Ken laughs, says, “Who’s

your daddy?” fans his hand, leans back, and weighs

his options. Steven says, “You’ve made a weasel

game out of my baby!” Ken cracks wise,

replies, “She never loved you. And your woes

have just begun,” then spanks him till he’s woozy.

—Lester Smith

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First Poet on Mars

Lester : November 25, 2014 3:08 pm : Poetry
MFL Mars Base ERV and MTSV

First Poet on Mars

When I was young, and loved a stirring tale,
science seemed simpler. Vast canals of teal
crisscrossed the Martian sands; forts in red tile
crowded the shores; and merchant ships paid toll
to row those waters, their holds full of tulle
and thyme. Or so we dreamed. But in the stale
air of this dead world, among these steel
domes, I’m breathless, grasping for a style
to speak an arid truth: that science stole
my box of dreams to use as its footstool.

—Lester Smith

(originally published in Verse Wisconsin 104)

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Last Flight of a Vickers Gun Bus Pilot

Lester : November 22, 2014 1:51 pm : Poetry
Vickers Gun Bus

Last Flight of a Vickers Gun Bus Pilot

Arthur’s knights took horse and squire to slay
their foes. I ride a bloody kite; a silly
boy up front to man my gun. The sly
Boche fly Eindeckers today. This slow
F.B.9 can’t pace them as they slue

from side to side, shooting our wings to lace.
And now my gunner’s tendered up his lease
on life. I’d land, but Jerry’s thick as lice
below. A passing Hun laughs, “Vas ist los?”
arcs back, and turns his twin-mount Spandaus loose.

—Lester Smith

(originally published in Verse Wisconsin 104)

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