Friday, 31 January 2014


First to go was David,
hostage to father’s work.
No adult cared ’bout what they did
the precious bond they broke.
I stood and cried outside
the house where I had played,
but which to me was now denied.
He was gone, I know not where;
but always for him I shall care.

My bedmate’s end was then decreed:
“That duck must be undone!”
I do not know who did the deed;
but his frail fabric off was flayed:
soap and flannel of him was made.
Of resurrection hope there’s none.

Karl was dear, we hugged and held;
but off to Oz he went.
Long years until again we spoke
were separately spent.
Then tears of joy did whelm my eyes:
till he did vanish into cyberspace,
with no clue of why;
or what then I could do:
or even of an act or unkind word
which I should sorely rue.

Next my mother went to heaven,
slaughtered by a stroke.
To hold me fast God promised then,
but my heart almost broke.

David danced into my life,
then danced again away:
except one latter day,
when he remembered naught
of that strange play
when I did nearly go awry.

Deepest loved was Adrian.
He better far than I my love did ken;
but Pete then Julie had his heart,
and so from me he did depart.
I’ll not see him again!

Nick and Philip, Tom and John,
shared faith and college years;
but seasons came and now are gone
and they did me forsake;
save John, who kept troth ’gainst my fears,
until that bond I’d sadly brake
for fear of hurt I could not take.

An elven flautist ’tranced my soul.
With questing mind and hopeful heart,
striding into my life he came.
He glimpsed the part and saw the whole;
but even his name does now my mem’ry flee.
Derek was dear,
he taught me much,
I slighted him, I fear.
To southern land he went
and we lost touch;
but grace was sent:
so rather than my sin full drear
should bind me in the grave,
he lately me forgave.

My heart, Keith warmed,
but Wales his formed:
the rock from which his being was wrent,
so he took off with glee for Gwent.

Of Pauls let less be said
than floods right through my head.
One despoiled my soul,
one despised me whole
one pursued his goal
to teach the poor
of Africa;
then follow the spoor
of feminine lure
to America.
All are for me no more.

Henry burst into my world,
as poet’s muse and mad daemon;
he gave me life, but now he’s gone
and I am dead within.

Last, Philip loved and learned:
the son I never had;
but off he flew, to Orient far,
in search of wife,
renouncing faith, he left my life
and made me sad.

And so it goes: the eternal train
of broken faith and forgèd chain;
of given love and taken pain.
My only hope for my own gain:
of this frail life I’ll soon be free,
for all of these are lost to me.

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