Augustus Young       light verse, poetry and prose
a webzine of new and unpublished work


Requiem for the Running Boy
Four-part choir 

The running boy has run his last.
By all the world he was bypassed.
The distance he covered was vast.
But where did it get him? Alas,
to the end of the road’s last gasp. 
Breathing Time
For my sister Mary on her birthday
Time is not a clock that ticks.
More a sundial that’s content
to wait for the sun to fix
where we are for the moment, 
while the shadows play their tricks.
Who cares if it goes too quick
or slow as long you don’t wind
the alarm. Whistle, and flick
off the flies, and be kind
to butterflies. Let them flit.
Everybody has their time.
While it passes shadowly
we pass it in the sunshine.
And time has everybody
telling the lawn day’s decline.
What passes passes. Let be.
The grass will be cut sometime.
That’s not up to you or me. 
But blowing on a dandelion,
we can still breathe easily.

After an operation

It’s hard to sleep when shadows
are watching your every breath
throughout the night. You repose,
awed by the attention you get.
Behind the chair you suppose
a candle flickers to let
the four walls cease to enclose
your life. It’s the light of death.
The shadows are ghosts in clothes,
white as befits angelic      
guardians. Snow-in-summer glows
in the rockery at sunset.
Shut eyes on a world that knows
nothing is certain. Forget
all in sleep. Dawn will foreclose
the vigil, the passing threat. 
You wake, and awareness grows
that nobody is there. Yet
last night’s presences impose
themselves, gather round your bed.
The Hum Word
IM Georges Frêche
The word ‘humanity’ makes me want to weep.
‘Humane’ as in ‘treatment’ make me spit with scorn.
‘It’s only human’ sticks in the throat. I can’t speak.
‘Humankind’ touches the heart, but comes with a warn-
ing. Plain ‘human’ is what I live with, cheek to cheek. 
Jacques the Fatalist Speaks
Fatality is the norm.
Pity him who sees defeat
in death. It’s why we were born.
The immortal hypocrite
is in for a shock, too late
to calmly go with his fate.
The beginning of the end
is life, and what’s wrong with that?
People who like to suspend
themselves on an endless plat-
eau are taken by surprise,
having to face their demise. 
Those who would live for ever
fool themselves for mortal coils,
like maternal cords sever,
and in between our life spoils
itself with wear and tear. Pains
and joys cohabit and wane.
Lingering on life support
is an inverted abort.  
Eternity is cyclical.
Accept that and all is well.
Your turn may come round again.
Some people call that heaven.
My Apgar Rating
Fitness assessment to decide if a doctor needs to be called, or not. Usually applied 60 seconds after birth.  
Panic attack.
I can’t find my pulse.
I’m in oxygen lack.
My reflexes repulse
stimuli. Twitches
Skin colour
blotched, which is
the result
of something or other.
All said and done, I’ve
found myself alive.  

Mister Nobody’s Revenge

Them who look through me see me as one dead,
when I meet them again I’ll shake my head
till it falls off and rolls in the gutter.
Step on it and I’ll swallow you whole. Others
who hallo without making eye contact,
I’ll catch on the blind side with an attack
of nerves. Don’t mistake me for someone else,
and share intimacies about yourself,
and yours. It calls for a death wish, and I’ll
haunt you for eternity with a smile.