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Mike Ferguson

Once Sonnets


  1. Righteous Anger


Is another clever line

in rhetoric


a righteous anger is

dissolving as I speak?


I hear a rail and then

the clever riposte:


the story of a tongue,

so to say,


in open debate.

It is for a cause,


this complaint

that a god above


whose nothingness is a rant


is cold comfort for

being an oxymoron.


Comments come from

the converted


like self-satisfaction

is a tick on social media.


Who else really knows

this might hurt if hearing?


  1. By the Way


Do you see

what isn’t recognised

from good education?


Metaphors that

should beat doing it

‘My Way’:

close the slanted wooden doors

to the cellar of despair


or a conversational aside.


By the way,

I don’t want you,

by the way.


Which is the subordinate clause?


When syntax

is poker’s bad grammatical hand


but still winning.

Do you follow?

Hands down.



  1. Me

I was fully aware

with this

that made me laugh out loud

funny and sad

but rather more absurd


the knife to cut

instantly and quickly

slices for later

that I also had

as I was fully aware


entirely on my lonesome

the surprise exultation

Mike Ferguson’s most recent collection is the sonnets chapbook Precarious Real [Maquette Press, 2016]. A retired English teacher, he co-authored the education text Writing Workshops [Cambridge University Press, 2015].

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