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a webzine of new and unpublished work


Masked Ball
When the snow’s
on the mountain,
and the cold wind blows
down the plain,
people are wearing
all their clothes.
And who’s caring
if anyone knows
the body that’s in
the bundle that grows
as it goes.
They all look the same. 


My soft shoe shuffle
does the oriental.
Flat footed but fleet.
Ever so discrete
treading the floorboards.
Made in Kyoto.
Soles that are giving.
The step, a soft trip,
glides without creaking,
a carpet in motion.
Lead with a big toe
in ermine enclosed.
But the heel is free.
Pantoufle souffle.
Slippers that don’t slip.

Rose Tinted Emma, Aged Ten

Emma has a glad eye for rose.
It shows in her good taste in clothes.
And the hint of rose in her eyes.
They’re marron brown with a sunrise
promising the clearest of skies.
It is her future, I suppose.
Though I can’t be sure that she knows
a rose is a rose is a rose,
there’s a clue in the drink she chose,
and her blushes to match the gleam
in the glass of rouge grenadine.
So her secret is no surprise.  

Love a Duck

‘Love’ is a loose concept
and open to abuse.
When we’re out of our depth
it is the word to use,
an easy absolute.
But between it and hate
lies a phrase with more truth,
‘Just being affectionate’.

Brut Di-amant
For Agatha 

Bruno on all fours
is a force of nature.
Though on his two feet
he can be stood up to.
Sit down. Give the man a miss.
The choice of weapons
is tenderness or violence.
Both lead to a loss of face.
He knows this, and point-blank
refuses to fight. Give the man a kiss.
His body language is frank-
ly a satyr’s. Though afterwards
you won’t be called ma chérie,
and he wouldn’t be seen dead
holding hands. Give the man his pride.
Should he shave with a strimmer
it would cut out on the stubble.
And Fred Flintstone would envy his grunt.
But you can never tell what he thinks,
only how he feels. Give the man his female side.

Old Troubadour

I’m glad to be a slave to My Lady who’s free 
as a bird to behave as She likes. It suits me.
The love-chains that bind us are the perne in a gyre.
I live for what’s not mine, Her capricious desire.
But I would His Lordship wasn’t so complaisant.
In my youth I was ycleped for my verses méchant,
and sent to the mountains. I cooled off minding sheep.
Now he trusts me too much. And I’m earning my keep
composing Her poems of love on his behalf,
chanting them as my own. I can still hear Her laugh,
and His Lordship joins in, ‘Faith, a dashing young blade
couldn’t have made that sing. I’d give it to your maid’.

The Perfect Crime
Homage to Xavier Dupont de Ligonnes

Change your life.
Knife the wife.
Strangle the kids.
Pay all the bills
(that will be a surprise).
Then take a dry dive.
But land on your feet.
Disappear. Be discreet.
Leave bloc-notes to assure
nothing except your
life needed to be changed.
You’re not deranged.
So start out anew
with a clean sheet. But know,
plastic surgeons will do
more harm than good. Remain
exactly the same,
the ideal incognito.

La dolce vita beckons. 
The case is a non-lieu.
For all the world reckons
you’re a dead letter, lost
in the post. Count the cost.
Nothing. They haven’t a clue. 

Romance in Rivesaltes

An ancient combatant
put his hunting hat on
and shot his ex-girlfriend.
And before putting an end
to himself, killed a brace
of onlookers (wrong place,
wrong time). The last bullet
didn’t stick in his gullet,
which had shrapnel inside.
He was taken alive.

A Gentle Warning Sign
Barbara’s Maternelle

Chut! To respect the infants’ sleep,
please ring the doorbell lightly
only once.