Sunday, September 26, 2004

The Sunday archive

Poem for a Bohemian Funeral

The women all look like Sarah Bernhardt,
& as for the beautiful young men... Well!

Peter Varley, at James Clarke’s funeral.

They come in sad lines. The
young men whose blond hair cradles
fingered dreams
                          & the old, the
unmannered fathers, who are
spindle-shanked & grouchy, with
tired mouths. Whispering amongst
themselves - words drift like
stepping stones, slow & ponderous,
heavy with nostalgia.

They come in sad lines & sit
the same way. Forming two bodies,
restless, like lovers who must,
after this, separate.

For this is the end of some
shared gift of life, but only the
young can know it. The old
are dying; one is / already dead

Whom the young worshipped &
                          fought over
Who provoked poems, songs,
Whom the old hated, but have all
                          come, wondering
Who will take his place.


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