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a webzine of new and unpublished work

Paulilles Beach, Summer 2011

 In Memory of Bob Welch (1947 – 2013)
There’s Bob a-bobbing, a-bobbing in the wild sea.
And in his best Cork accent cries out, ‘Tis poetry’.
The pleasure that he takes is Homeric to me.
What Bob calls ‘the sea thing’ is his natural milieu.
Graball Bay was his baptism. It’s said that Bob knew
how to swim to Fountainstown before he was two.
Even at that age he had the shoulders for the crawl.
Now he decides against Africa. It’s too long a hawl.
A seal with a bulldog head, I can hear his high call, 
‘You say it’s an abandoned Nobel factory site?
But between you and me, I’d say, it’s still dynamite’. 
He has something by the neck, maybe a water sprite.
There’s Bob a-bobbing, a-bobbing in the wild sea.
The sea-monsters have toed the line, and let him be.


Speaking of cat, the charms
they have spelt out with purrs,
so their comfort is ours,
our aplomb.         
                   And what harms
they’ve quelled in us, what ease
they’ve put us at. Creatures
of philosophy (furs
keep the cold out and please
                 Cum grano salis,
they lick the health from hair
(what vitamins they wear?).
             The sole absolute is
              experience. And you,
              a poet with a corpus
              behind you, before us
              stroke the cat till it mews.

Invitation to A Voyage

After Baudelaire
My sister, life,
think how sweet
to live together
loving at leisure,
loving and dying,
in a land resembling you!
The liquid sky
mists the sun
as softly
as your eyes unveil
their mystery
behind bright tears. 
Beautiful as it should be,
luxe, calme et volupté.
The furnishings
polished with the years
lighten our room,
and exotic flowers
mix their perfume
with the ambiguous
scents of amber,
richly ornate ceilings,
infinite mirrors,
the gorgeous East,
all speak to the soul
in the secret language
of childhood,
Beautiful as it should be,
luxe, calme et volupté.
Moored in the quay
the vessels sleep
dreaming of the elsewhere
they have voyaged
to satisfy your desires.
The setting sun
redresses the fields,
the streams, the town itself
with hyacinth and gold,
the world sleeps
in a warm glow.
Beautiful as it should be,
luxe, calme et volupté.

Mapping the Brain

The white corner is
not for an insight,
or perfect blankness.
It colours a quiet
moment,  a pause
in the spirit’s night.
This undercoat of
feeling catches light.
Do not grasp at it,
and it will come right.   

Le Tombeau du Herissons

While the neighbours and the builders are in dispute,
the garden returns to nature, and the upshoot
is the fennel-grass runs wild, choking the fig-tree.
It’s dead on the leave. The plot harbours a family
of hedgehogs which are seen venturing, in remote
control of their destiny, grace of their barbed coat,
along the street, so fast on their monkish feet,
having in the small hours a rendez-vous to keep
with the feral cats in the converted parking space,
now my jardin sauvage. There they sit face to face,
curious and curiouser. Everything’s as it should,
peace in the natural world. Pellets of cat-food
shared, they fleet back to their lot in a stately row.
Their home will soon be entombed  by a bungalow  


After a swim
at high tide
Nothing on earth
can intervene.
The grin of a cat
is a chagrin.
And what mat-
ters is without
issue. Put it aside.
The rest isn’t worth
a tinkers shout.
Dolphins ride
the waves coming in.
A shagreen
is an ass’s skin. 

Photograph with Poet*

After Huib Fens 
His smiling face is carefree.
He’s between two smirking men.
Something funny has been said
(by who’s taking it, perhaps).  
Somewhere in the room a fire
smoulders turf. No more than that.
A chap with a brandy looks
at us. The others, elsewhere.
There’s a draught under the door.
It’s cold outside, and the wind
rattles the tiles on the roof.
Smoke from the chimney tangos.
He seems to have forgotten
who he is, can no longer
hear himself speak. Everything
round him is disappearing .     
His keeps his eyes tightly shut
until it hurts. An inscape
recorded in a split second.
The shutter opens again. 
* Michael Hartnett (1941 – 1999)