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.

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)

Leave a response »

California Girlfriend

Lester : November 12, 2014 11:35 am : Poetry


Cindy,” by Graham, CC BY 2.0

California Girlfriend

My California girlfriend loved to dance,
gyrate, and grind. But I was young, and dense;
I didn’t catch on. I would shout, “The din’s
too loud in this club crowd!” Now, too late, it dawns
just what she wanted. I was such a dunce.

I preferred the beach—the surf, the sand.
And even there her salty kiss would send
my breath away. Somehow, I never sinned
with her—I never got it—though the sound
of her low moans engulfed me as we sunned.

She dumped me. So I’m left here with these “didn’ts,”
trying to reclaim her in this sonnet.

—Lester Smith

Leave a response »

Why Sandpoint?

Lester : September 17, 2014 11:10 am : Announcements, Poetry

Yesterday, via social media and Kickstarter updates, I mentioned that daughter Kate and I are working up a “Blood Type” short story for this year’s Halloween celebration anthology, Halloween Haiku II and other hauntings.

Here’s the first line: “The day Sandpoint, Idaho, died, Garrett Cully left work early.”

One of our D6xD6 RPG backers asked, “Why Sandpoint?” (Turns out his wife’s family lives there.) As that setting chapter will soon show, Sandpoint is a perfect choice for the horror campaign my wife and daughter conceived of.

As luck would have it, the city also made an appearance in a poem I wrote back in 2006, an attempt at free verse:

It’s Happy Hour Somewhere

At 5:25 p.m. in Los Angeles,
the Trumpster (in town for an evening)
rises from a trim and invites
his busty stylist to drinks and lobster

Meanwhile, in Wisconsin,
I hold the phone, and a tequila,
while my mother’s voice cajoles
me to write something
(outside this east window,
snow dunes
glowing in moonlight).

And at a checkpoint east of Baghdad,
a boy from Sandpoint,
Idaho, coaxes five blood-spattered children
from the backseat
of a family
car that would not

While in Calcutta,
Mother Teresa’s ghost
rises with the sun, and walks
a flowerless path to the leprosarium.

—Lester Smith

Leave a response »

Page 1, 21,

Leave a Reply