English poetry

Poems in English


IN HARM’S WAY

I was never a film buff, give me Widmark and Wayne any day

Saturday matinйes with Margaret Gardener still hold sway

As my memory veers backwards this temperate Boxing Day-

Westerns and war films and a blurred Maigret,

Coupled with a worn-out sixties Penguin Mallarmй-

How about that mix for a character trait?

Try as I may I can’t get my head round the manifold virtues

Of Geraldine Monk or either Riley

Poetry has to have a meaning, not just patterns on a page,

Vertical words and snips of scores just make me rage.

Is Thom Gunn really the age-old sleaze-weasel Andrew Duncan says?

Is Tim Allen right to give Geraldine Monk an eleven page review?

At least they care for poetry to give their lives to it

As we do, too.

My syntax far from perfect, my writing illegible

But somehow I’ll get through, Bloodaxe and Carcourt

May jeer but an Indian printer’s busy with my ‘Collected’

And, Calcutta typesetters permitting, it will be out this year

With the red gold script of sari cloth on the spine

And fuck those dusty grey contemporary voices

Those verses will be mine.

Haslam’s a whole lot better but touchy as a prima donna

And couldn’t take it when I said he’d be a whole lot better

If he’d unloose his affects and let them scatter

I’m envious of his habitat, The Haworth Moors

Living there should be the inspiration of my old age

But being monophobic I can’t face the isolation

Or persuade my passionate friend to join me.

What urban experiences can improve

Upon a cottage life with my own muse!

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Poem IN HARM’S WAY - Barry Tebb