Tag Archives: youth

The Unsubtle Self-pity of Youth


So there I was, just seventeen, four hours before the grey-drenched dawn
In South Shore’s grotty, out-of-season bed-sit land, the world half-drawn
On tungsten light with charcoaled lines, surrounded by some claustrophobic
Room that bore the trademark of the seventies – anachronistic,
Dark and dreary, listening to The Wall by Pink Floyd on repeat,
As Roger Waters’ dirges made my dank, self-maudlin world complete.
Outside the streets were closed for winter, only brothel doors ajar,
Illuminating men in flat caps, smoking Capstans full strength tar.
It really couldn’t get much bleaker. Here was life in all it starkness.
Then the meter stopped and plunged my rank self-pity into darkness.


I Still Prefer the Autumn


Summer wallowed in the aisles.
The day’s were long, the shadows longer.
Nights, though short, were pregnant with
Romance that in the dark grew stronger.
Somewhere in between the dusk
And darkness, youth’s fraternity
Stretched out in all directions, taking
Soundings through eternity.
We thought those times would never end.
The world was young. The nights were rich,
And we as friends would never part;
We thought – but life can be a bitch,
And summers stumble all too soon.
Unseen they turn to autumn days,
And like the leaves, unknowingly,
We fell into our separate ways.
I sometimes wonder what became
Of all the friends that flew the nest.
But not for long. For all of that,
I still prefer the autumn best.

The Bird Cage


This is the shelter where, during my youth,
I moved into the clock innards housed in the roof.
I was homeless. The circular attic was cold,
But carpet was laid between beams, and an old
Oil lamp had been left by some long-ago guest.
Enough to read Descartes up here in my nest.
So I wrapped myself up in my trench coat, lamp dimmed,
As the click of the clock wound itself round my limbs.
When the day broke I looked through the cracks in the ceiling.
The dark slowly drained from the damp streets, revealing
The yellow rectangles of cafes beyond.
I swung myself down through the hatch, and moved on.
I was empty, and hungry, disenfranchised and broke,
But a poet who’d wrenched his soul free from its yoke.

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