I’m not sure when I last wrote a poem – for a few years I wrote about one a week and have a bit of a trove. I started this one several weeks ago and came to the last few lines last night…

Poetry, I’m told, is a young person’s game.

I gave it up, as old men give up war and the battlefield of love,
I gave my pen to the deeper pursuits of failed novels, epics of
Unemployed suburban youth.

The anger between the wars, I could mould it in my hand,
Infidelity, injury, and muddy marching boots took command
Of my inkpot and pen.

My voice soft, as if speaking with neither guilt nor pride,
“This decade will surprise me if we get to the other side
Without a world war.”

Does shame lie, in the conflict of Sapphic stanzas,
Mining, as of old, those coffee house bonanzas,
Polite applause, and smoke?

Mars and the muse call me up as if indignation
were a ready schoolboy’s infatuation
This object first then that.

The horror expands as a fast receding ocean
Constructs of itself a wall fast in motion
Towards my hovels.

I don’t fear so much the wall of water,
But those who on great signposts totter
That read ‘New beachfront property.’