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a webzine of new and unpublished work

For Those who Live in Cities (1928)

Part from your friends at the station.
Enter the city in the morning with your coat buttoned up.
Look for a room, and when your friend knocks.
Do not, o do not, open the door.
cover your tracks.
If you meet your parents in Hamburg or elsewhere
pass them like strangers, turn the corner, don’t recognise them.
Pull the hat they gave you over your face, and
do not, o do not, show your face.
cover your tracks.
Eat the meat’s that’s there. Don’t stint yourself.
Go into the house when it rains and sit on any chair that’s in it.
But don’t sit long. And don’t forget your hat.
I tell you
cover your tracks.
Whatever you say, don’t say it twice.
If you find your ideas in anyone else, disown them.
Who was not there, who said nothing:
How can they catch him?
Cover your tracks.
See when you come to think of dying
that no gravestone stands and betrays where you lie
with a clear inscription to denounce you,
and the year of your death to give you away.
Cover your tracks.
(That is what they taught me).
Night Sky, Skovsbostrand (1934)
1. The friends are silent as the stars.
The music of the spheres is all
in the mind. Between it and the hand
the heart  beats until it stops.
May death happen when enough’s said.
‘Twenty years should suffice’, I say.
But he could only shake his head.
‘How many years will we be dead?’
2. In the early hours the fir-trees are copper.
That’s how I saw them with young eyes.
How many years ago?
How many wars?
How many lives? 
Untitled Sonnet (1939?)
For a Friend (Walter Benjamin?)
All that I ask of you is that you stay put,
and blather on as usual. I won’t listen.
Though I’m not deaf to the human condition,
always alert to the stamping of a foot.
I hear what you’re saying when you grow quiet,
and share the darkness till the light in your eye
comes back, and it’s agreed to never say die.
In the silent watches of the northern night
the moon clears behind the running clouds. You dream
of better times. I must bring you back to earth.
The ‘now’ is where we’re at for what it’s worth.    
Nursing wounds isn’t a matter of hygiene.
And amputations aren’t necessary for us.
We’re a plural force. Time heals without a fuss. 
When in the White Room (1953)
When in the white room of the white ward
I wake up in the early morning,
and hear the blackbird, I’m in accord
with the tidings each day his song brings.
It tells me why I’m thoroughly bored
with timor mortis. Once you are nothing
there’s nothing to fear. I can afford
to lie back, and enjoy the bird sing,
knowing it’s the repetition forward
of all blackbirds I won’t be hearing.