AUGUSTUS YOUNG        light verse, poetry and prose

  a regular webzine of new and unpublished work


Early Days at the Movies


Real Women in
the Movies

Just Kidding

The Seventh Art's Seventh Heaven

So What Happened




Choses Vues


Existential Hymn

If you know where you stand,
the floorboards take care of themselves. 

If you know where you sit,
you are able to face the south. 

If you know where to look,
you don’t have to tidy the shelves.

If you know where you walk,
you can always find a way out.

If you’re going too far,
further is to complete the circle.

If you know that you sleep,
it is certain you’re not dead then.

If you aren’t able to keep
an eye on yourself nobody else will.

If you know where you are,
and who, well then, what’s the problem.

The General Shortage of Time

If you’re reading this I’d be surprised.
The entire world is up to its eyes.
Everybody is at their wits’ ends.
What with the family and our friends,
the blasted job, and finding green time
for ourselves. Life’s an assembly line
cut so fine we hang on by a thread
until it snaps and then we are dead.
What can you do? So much to be done.
The race for time is the common run.


‘Showing dead bodies on television
is beyond the comprehension
of anybody with an ounce of
humanity in their souls.’

Tony Blair, April 2003

They have no repect for the dead.
We who killed them seek to forget
the necessary victims and shred
evidence of their life and death.

Augustus Young, April 2003

Mé chant 

I’ve never been a soulmate
of poets who feel they must write
heart-to-hearts that celebrate
the ordinary things in life.  

Such as tumours of the brain
that killed the wife. You detail
that her last word was ‘champagne’.
Her sense of humour didn’t fail.

There’s nothing ordinary
about life except the things
you would prefer not to be
entertaining. When the phone rings

you don’t have to answer it.
And when the heavens open,
if you don’t have an umbrella,
Tant pis, give up and get wet.

On Wearing Your Own Pyjamas

Nobody has prepared you for the pleasure
of getting back into your own pyjamas
after a lapsus in a hospital gown.
And you feel better. There is a balm on you
when you put them on after a steaming bath.

What’s said about illness is you’re not yourself.
That’s how you feel. And it is true the softness
of one’s own down is absent. You have been plucked.
The rawness is a nakedness false warmths
make shameful. Goose pimples at least are your own. 

Now clothed in the habitual you can face
life in your accustomed skin. And what’s threadbare
is worn, but not wasted. The self falls asleep
and wakes up from bad dreams which didn’t happen.


Even in Dark Times

Even in dark times there are splendours.
Between the pain and the cry, a star.
Between the ship and scrap yard, tenders
ease the last voyage across the bar.  

Between the door and the floor, enters
light from elsewhere. It doesn’t need a key.
Even in dark times there are splendours.
A light thought isn’t just a jeu d’esprit.  

A sun shower that’s laced with a rainbow
has its silver lining when you pass
between the drops and the light they throw.

There’s even light when you break a glass.
Everything to something else renders.
Even in dark times there are splendours.

What Keeps Man Alive

From Brecht’s Diedreigroschenoper

Our mission is not to purge mankind of the seven deadly sins.
Pork chops first, then morals. Get the food right. Then the preaching begins.
Proper helpings are what’s wanted. So it’s necessary to forestall
expectations that there will be enough to go round for all.
But that is not what keeps mankind alive. One must face the facts.
Mankind keeps himself alive by performing bestial acts.
Millions of people are tortured every day, starved, silenced, oppressed.
What keeps mankind alive is keeping its humanity repressed.