Gordon Scapens has been published over many years in a variety of magazines, journals, anthologies and competitions. He lives in a suburb of Preston with his wife, who is friend, critic, muse and editor. He plays acoustic guitar averagely.





Tell me how it feels
to love a fool.
Is it like holding
a cracked glass.

Say the tugging
on strings that bind us
only makes us actors
in a drama.

Talk of little deaths
we serve each other daily
that are just currency
to exchange at going rates.

Tell me about crying
in each other’s arms
that gives absolution
by instalments.

But don’t say walk away
from the pain of love.
It’s a predicament
that’s its own solution.

© Gordon Scapens



Mr. Saturday Night swaggers
through his identity collection
into the town centre,
his face a sneer of maybes
semaphoring harboured intentions.

His regular pub is a border
he crosses with compulsion
to like-minded friends,
a landscape of common urges.
This will be home for the evening
where he’s harnessed by his rule
of a week’s worth of lager
while remaining vertical.

His eyes are wrestling with
the skimpy attire flaunted
by girls balancing on high heels.
His lack of success fraternizing
has the weight of frustration
on an overworked mind
that blossoms as resentment.

Mr. Saturday Night
throwing up his arrogance
in fresh air outside the bar,
is as yet unaware
of Sunday’s threatened ambush
waiting in his vengeful bed.


© Gordon Scapens



There’s no escaping
the mobile phone user
on this covid-spaced train,
stumbling loudly through
our enforced patience.

The same boastful speech
decorating his day
plays out small deaths
to four different women,
all refusing to meet up with him.

He’s oblivious to everyone,
travelling intently through
a self-made importance
where he keeps his ego.
His inward-looking hunger
will never acknowledge
life is like a poem
he doesn’t understand.

When he gets off the train
life yawns widely
and swallows him up. 

For the station
that should be his life
he is too late.


© Gordon Scapens



She explores rooms
in child-like wonder,
her own house a story
of a strange new world.

Cocooned in a time capsule
of the last thirty seconds,
she would sit down
but has no invitation.

The place is unfamiliar
but reminds her of somewhere
she must have once visited
and photographs are strangers.

A kind man smiles now
and tests her hand,
obviously mistaking
who she might be.

Kindness is in the offer
and her voice answers
with words sounding like
someone back in her past.

This voice wants to know
if who she is might be away
and could she be returning.
She wonders about his tears.

She exists the wrong side
of a door through which
life runs away without her.
She’s here but out of reach.


© Gordon Scapens