AUGUSTUS YOUNG        light verse, poetry and prose

  a regular webzine of new and unpublished work
‘There’s no such thing as a poet. Only people who write poems.’




My Writing Space

The Last Refuge

Paul Potts

Sacrificial Lamb


Uncertain Ways

Swept Out

Burial at Sea

Hidden Light


The Budge/Hogan Power Station, Crouch End

Peter and Mary harness the heavens for energy.
They’re on the side of the angels but do not like to fly.
Floating on a cloud’s a balanced life in principle.
But it’s more fun coming down to earth on a bicycle
powered by his surdo drum and her soul-song. It’s a tandem.
Even in Crouch End the good sun will always shine for them.
Basking in it lights the way and warms the cockles of their heart.
The atmosphere that’s created could be considered a start
on saving the earth from the carbonic Armageddon.
When taking the train and boat from Kings Cross to Kilcreden
their natural ebullience works up steam for the engines.
Once there, these pure spirits walk by the sea when the tide’s in,
and sing along with protected species when it is out.
Then light a wood fire to give the sun a rest. It’s done them proud.

Outages in the Holy Land

Gaza is dark tonight.
You can see the stars,
and the helicopters.
What is there to hide
isn’t in the shadows. 
Families expose
themselves to worldwide
scrutiny, sharing
food cooked in the warmth
of an open fire.

The Tel Aviv grid
powers a confusion
in the whited streets,
as though day’s been
wired in. It’s the light
that hides. Past caring,
in a nightlife rush,
the people seem alone.
It is obvious
nobody’s at home.

A Call to Heaven

All the world is a mobile phone.
And the music of the spheres play
while we’re waiting for God to speak.
‘Hang on’, says a voice from time to time.

After what seems an eternity
another voice, female, butts in.
‘If you want to leave a message
press G six six six two two one.’

It’s promptly answered by a bark.
‘The Number of the Beast speaking.
If you want to continue, press
B and GO 2 H.E.L.L.’

‘But I wanted God’, I got in.
‘Sorry, he’s otherwise engaged.
But I can speak on his behalf,
as long as you reverse charges.’

Then the line went dead. I was left
with a God-forsaken sense of
alienation. I’m a damn fool,
I think. It’s God who should call me.

Letter Home from Guy Moquet
A teenage resistance fighter executed by the Nazis, 22 October 1941

I am as those I love
for their mirror makes me
appear so I won’t be
myself alone. Above
the ego is the thee.

Before being born I didn’t know
what it was like to be alive.
Why should I, in my panic, strive
to make sense of what is go-
ing to happen after I die.
You just accept that’s how it is.
But while you’re alive you must try
to examine what’s going on,
the existing phenomenon
grace of others who, passing by,
allow you to be someone else.
It is not merely for yourself.

Détente in the Dark

The old moon over the port
is a crumbling crème-brulée,
peach apricot breaking through.
The broken banana boat
from Maroc is rust red too.
Its cargo rots on the quay.

After the storm the TV
in the backwater bar is
soundless, and black and white,
and spirits up street riots -
begowned judges in Paris,
car-parks torched in the banlieux,

and gendarmes shot at. ‘That’s new’,
says the lone drinker. ‘Gun tot-
ing jeunes potting at the flic.’
As Sarkozy fills the screen
(a bell-hop touting a tip),
the barfly lip-reads his spiel.
‘To re-pack purchasing power,
France must become an offshoot
of America and trigger growth,
by spending more bullets. Our
State shares the same gunplay laws.’
And adds, after a pause

for thought. ‘Here naught to report,
save in the hunting season
the odd friendly-fire shooting
of a neighbour scree-rooting,
mistaken for a wild boar.
The case is thrown out of court.’