Philip Dunkerley


The Road Taken

(After Robert Frost)

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
and knowing I could not travel both
and still be honest, long I stood
and looked down one, the road for good,
to where it bent in the undergrowth;

then took the other; I didn’t care,
for me it had the better claim,
a road for a man with savoir-faire
intent on making money somewhere,
and I am a man who knows no shame.

A fool would have chosen the other way
and ended up in a wooden shack.
oh, I wanted a mansion and playboy pay
and if every dog will have its day
I planned to stay ahead of the pack.

I shall be rich till the day I die
somewhere ages and ages hence:
two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I wanted much more than to just get by,
and that has made all the difference.

Today I Fell Off an Ostrich

Today I fell off an ostrich
and I feel quite remarkably glad.
It’s a thing to recall when there’s nothing at all
so opportunistically mad.

You may say that a fall from an ostrich
is something you’d rather not try
and in any case, where would you find one to spare,
and how would you mount it, and why?

But today, I fell off an ostrich,
just look at the bruises—and yet,
when every abrasion has gone, the occasion
is one I shall never forget.

Yes, I actually fell off an ostrich;
the locals looked on in delight
with joy unconfined. I was on my behind
in the dust and the dirt, what a sight!

You may say that to fall off an ostrich
is in fact merely par for the course
but you know, it’s absurd to fall off a bird—
most people fall off a horse!

Philip Dunkerley lives in Lincolnshire in the United Kingdom, where he takes part in poetry readings and runs poetry groups. His work has appeared in a wide range of editor-moderated journals, webzines and anthologies, including Poetry Salzburg Review, Magma, Acumen, and Lighten Up Online. He is a reviewer for Orbis.