Three Poems by Ian Fitzgerald

Pondering the End of the World 


Christadelphians say read the Bible, 

Christ is coming soon.


Jihadis say Esa is coming soon, and then bomb

as many people as possible, as if to prove it.


Jesus, even bolder than jihadis, spoke unashamedly

of the end of the world. Be wise! Be ready when I return! 


Ready to be taken, not left behind 

for the Beast to devour. 


Daniel escaped the lions’ den, 

but no-one will escape the Beast, He said,


except the elect: those special souls chosen 

before the world began to die for the Faith. 


So, the Beast was before the world began 

and Christ was before the serpent or the lamb, 


and the end of the world was before its beginning 

just as rain knew how to fall before the first storm.



A Full Moon 


The moon dominates the sky.

The moonlight illuminates my drive. 

There is nowhere for a burglar or fox to hide, 

no room for the Darkness. 


The stars hover around the moon.

They hang around the moon from August to July. 

There is jealousy out there and no shyness, 

no need for shades to hide behind.  


The sun envies the moon.

The moon lingers in the morning light.

Riverbeds, as visible as they are tonight,

make fine embroidery. 



Nobody’s Husband Now 


My room is quite luxurious, 

the large fridge stacked with bottles 

of water and unfamiliar wines. 

I thought the flight would never end,

now the triple bed is giving me ideas. 

I should take a pill. … Elizabeth 

once introduced me to a prophylactic, 

it was the year we went to Stratford 

to see Kate and Jacobi trying to tame 

the shrew. Kate was thirty and prettier 

than all her sisters. 


I saw her again at Larry’s funeral, 

looking demure and very unshrew-like. 

Not long after, she almost divorced 

Jacobi. He didn’t deserve her anyway. 

Of course, they had to choose him to play 

Professor Humbert in Lolita. The scene 

with mother, daughter and professor 

sitting on a swinging bench was annoying. 

Daughter was flirting with professor,

but mother said nothing. Middle-class 

liberalism I suppose.


Anna Lombard was very liberal.

She had a husband and a husband-in-waiting. 

The husband-in-waiting nursed the husband 

while he was dying, happy in the knowledge

he would soon replace him. Then she killed 

her only daughter and still got to live happily 

ever after. Is there any wonder? Huh! 


There was another Lombard, Carole. 

She died far too soon, just like Elizabeth 

driving home from school in her green Mercedes, 

a staunch atheist to the end, probably now bathing 

in the river of life, courtesy of grace, while I’m 

here in this thirsty hole of a Third World country 

popping prophylactics. 



Ian Fitzgerald was born in Birmingham, where he works as a tutor in English. He has travelled widely in North America and is a graduate of Dartmouth. His poetry has been published in The Warwick Review



Image credit: Jonas Tana

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