Tuesday, 24 January 2012

The Js

“what thou lovest well will remain…” Ezra Pound - Cantos


At night when sleep doesn’t come

I think of my boys upstairs,

What will life be like for us?


My boys, My boys, of the little I know

I know this…I feel more

For your faces in the morning;

For your slipper of warmth;

For your glide in the evening;

For your calf-like grazing;

For your nuzzle;

For your soft nudge;

For your companion kindness;

For your necessity and pride;

For your air filling chatter;

For your inconsequential news;

For the head scratching

Fact of it all…

I feel more than any metaphor

I have put on the page.


In my head I think of my best self, wise -

Dispensing necessary adages age provides,

An old chum with his hand firmly on the tiller

Steering clear of life’s uncharted perils.

But my true self knows the duffer,

The bluff plodder whose luck comes

Only through graft and surprise.

Too ready to grab the brakes

At the first thought of a corner.


Life can only be measured by its memory

Yes, we live but we always feel we die too soon.

Our lives mean through their meaning to others.

I’m not old, I know but youth has fled me.

These beauties on the tube do not look for me

But through me, my age an invisibility,

Their very youth an amulet against the grizzled

And what they think they will never become.


I wish my boys these girls (or boys)

That pedal into life on the very rivet –

Unfazed by failure and fear merely words.

Happiness coming from living and living,

Fuelled by the ineffable fact of being alive.

My life has been something else again

I know so little about Love and Death and God,

I live by the sea where any revelation

Is only ever temporary to be covered

By the next tide that hides all once again.


Oh My boys…Oh, My boys…

All other stuff is meaningless, except

Death coming out of the mist in disguise,

In its soft hearse to surprise and appal us.

Let me be joyfull for you and with you,

But I cannot promise that any of this will be true.