Wednesday, September 14, 2011


Someone took a photo
of him coming back.
Hat held in the hand
of the arm his coat
is folded over, the
suitcase on the ground.
Squinting into the sun
first sign of the smile,
warming his face,
as he saw his mum.
He was back from the war,
though he told me once,
"You can't take it off
like a suit".
If you could, somehow,
arrange to have him in
the same place every year
and take a picture.
Much would not differ
from year to year
but the face would change,
especially in the 1990's
when he just lost interest.
Betrayed by Labour,
and scornful of the rest,
sometimes even hateful.
Until he seemed used up.
Compared to that arrival photo
when he is back, alive
and beginning to realise
that he had made it through
and knew that his country
would not let him down.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Crazy Mummer

Lust, the half remembered Harlequin,
steps up behind you on cat feet,
and whispers:
"That's a bit of all right".
Then saunters off,
leaving you, red eared
at the deliciousness
of the sin.
Monsieur Love is there then,
with convoluted, courtly manners
and elegant fol-de-rols.
He inspects the top of his walking cane
and asks you:
"What did they mean when they said
'Hello' and 'Nice day'?"
Then he goes to read his mail.
Finally there is Mr. Punch
with his slap-stick
and belled hat.
But all he says is "Putcha!".
Not much help in that.
So the play moves on
and you are trapped inside.
Foil to the actors,
unsure of your next line.
While desperately,
playing for time.
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