Skip to content

Four Poems From ‘Achilles On Reprieve’ by R. G. Foster


The lot of the ancients: succulent boughs

Enjoyed with grace, and an ear for the season’s passing.

Mist – webbed on still water;

We are Crustacea, sucking

To the broken wheel,

Smug in our luck

And inwardly gazing

(if gazing at all),


Oh, what a nugget of sense, of good sense, displayed:

To be born at the back-end

Of Progress.



Early in the Morning

Ariadne has retired, despairing, to her bedchamber for an interminable period,

Dionysus goads her


The saliva pools around

Dead wrists,

Her bed – salmon and sanguine silk,


And Dio,


On the rocking-chair,

Sapped of percentage,

Wisps of thought

Scaling the ceiling,

Is penning a tome

In symbolist prose

On the bad taste

Of easy suicide.



Insistent Melody

           After Bowie’s “Be My Wife”


And into each room sweeps

the whitewashed tableau,

It crowds

The jabbing fingertips, impervious

To effort,


This salmon-slapped face now

Shrugs its lips now

Fixes on a thing, –

It has beaten itself

On rocky peninsulas, angered the gulls

And slept in ignorance,


Seen in a lunchroom

Or jazz quartet,

Anywhere, neither,

It springs at each new air-scent.

Be a young man’s wife.



Deep Dusk

‘Tomorrow night

           At the Darktown Strutters’ Ball’


I spark it up, beside her, to observe

The lightly-disciplined

Pirouettes of white

From each end,

And the woman repeats

What’s on your mind?

Well, at this moment,

The classically-approached departure

From ragtime, jellied pastries,

And the smoky rain

At our open window.


R. G. Foster is a writer from Northern England, who’s published extensively across several mediums and in numerous subjects. He’s been a sport journalist, a music critic, a literary critic, and a fiction and poetry writer, among other things. He also runs Foster Editorial, a freelance writing business. The poems featured here and more can be found in his debut collection, Achilles On Reprieve due out with Lapwing Publications.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: