Tag Archives: The Troubles

Richard Fleming, ‘Memento Mori’

An ambulance howls like a hurt cat;
parts traffic as Moses did the waves.
Worms burrow in awaiting graves.
A police car buzzes like a gnat.

Stuck in a jam of steaming cars,
I contemplate how life transforms
in moments. How they wait, those worms,
so patiently, for us, for ours.


Richard Fleming writes: “Ambulance sirens have been part of the soundtrack of my adult life, from the troubled years in Belfast to, more recently, my relatively tranquil life on the island of Guernsey.
There‚Äôs something about the sound, like that of a modern-day banshee, that chills the blood like no other. In common with all those who love unreservedly, I live with a constant fear of loss and a keen awareness of the terrible fragility of those things that we hold dear. This short poem attempts to articulate that fear.”

Richard Fleming is an Irish-born poet currently living in Guernsey, a small island midway between Britain and France. His work has appeared in various magazines, most recently Snakeskin, Bewildering Stories, Lighten Up Online, the Taj Mahal Review and the Potcake Chapbook ‘Lost Love’, and has been broadcast on BBC radio. He has performed at several literary festivals and his latest collection of verse, Stone Witness, features the titular poem commissioned by the BBC for National Poetry Day. He writes in various genres and can be found at www.redhandwriter.blogspot.com or Facebook https://www.facebook.com/richard.fleming.92102564/

Photo: “Ambulance” by gwire is licensed under CC BY 2.0.