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a webzine of new and unpublished work

Dead Cut

Not having time
for a courtesy
is a petty crime
against humanity.
I notice your frail face.
A frieze against the wall.
But I haven’t the good grace,
to heed your timid call. 
Though I was running late
I should keep up my end
of the past present. Friend-
ship hasn’t a sell-by date.
Of course I recall
your daughter’s accident.
And how I truly meant
to be at her funeral.
Nobody at home.
Waiting  for
something to
A loose slate
from a tower-block.
You were just passing.
Little did you know.
Little did you know
to change your life
you had to
lose it.
She skips across the square,
an infant sur le tard,
who seems without a care,
but too blind to regard
me sitting by the fountain,
too deaf to hear her name.
She’d left something behind
in her car. It wasn’t there.
‘No matter, never mind’
she said to a neighbour
on a bench looking bored.
Her cheery smile ignored.  
Madame La France
Worn down to the dry joints,
not wasted yet with disease,
she keeps to her room, or haunts
where amour propre is at ease. 
Her mirror hangs a curtain
with her past self a trompe-oeil;
That’s when she was Marianne,
a fighting spirit of joy.
She sees herself with eyes shut.
But the gaiety is forced.
The can-cans more down than up,.
the high kicks suffer arthrose.  
Yet they amuse the children.
Hop, hop, they cry, and she does.
Her dance is a bewildering,
fall on her face in the mud.
Presenting the Facts
When I came back that night
my front door was ajar.
The light-switch didn’t work.
I called out, ‘Who’s there?
Whoever you are
show your face’.
An echo mocked me.
All seemed in order
when I locked up as usual:
the blinds drawn,
the table cleared,
the radio still playing.
The key was in its place
under the mat.
But I can’t remember
how long ago it was.
All trace has been effaced.
The furniture is gone. 
Yet this emptiness
is strangely familiar.
It’s what I expected.
This is my future, I think.
I’ve returned to nothing.
The brown smell of rust.
Dust accumulating
is rock hard. What was
cold and damp is
now home and dry.
If a ton of bricks
buried me I would be
excavated intact
by a forked tractor.
A dangle of bones.
A watch that’s stopped.
Nothing happens next.
Nobody’s Innocent
I open the door.
A body falls in.
I drop to the floor,
my legs in the air.
I’m sweating poison.
I blame Baudelaire.
But it’s the real thing.
Goya’s warriors
in a deathly cling.
One of us bleeding.
When I wake it’s gone.
Not even the picked bone
of a skeleton.
I am on my own
holding a gun

Cosmic Surge
Madame is silicon valley.
Communication is by plastic.
Upkeep is an insurance problem.
She looks like the prow of a ship,
proudly breasting the rippling waves.
But be sure to keep your distance.
Embracing would risk a melt-down.
Her expensive attributes are
trophies with a shelf-life
like her husband’s money.