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a webzine of new and unpublished work

The Last Luminosity

Although the street lights are coming on,
the red rooftops are bathed in sun.
 
Slate-grey skies have stifled in its shroud
the light of day. But the sun is proud,
 
and won’t go down without a fight.
White clouds from the Pyrenees alight,
 
absorb its honey, and change to rose,
blushing the tiles with angelic glows
 
that make light of evening at the death.
Praise be to this sun-bath at sunset.
 
Time Flies
 
Two and half years
is no time
in this vale of tears
and laughter, yours and mine. 
 
I keep a space for you
in my mind’s eye.
Sometimes it’s a dim view,
sometimes a clear sky.
 
What would you think of that?
I haven’t a clue
where you’re at,
and that’s not something new.
 
But does it matter
in the larger scheme of things?
Life is just a batter-
ing of wings.
 
 
Unintitled
 

You came from a distance,

and didn’t stay for long,

having another existence.

Holding you from it would be wrong.

 

But I never thought you’d belong

anywhere else. Your presence

in my mind is so strong

that calling you back makes no sense.


 
The Gift of a Name
 
I hear my mother call me from the house.
My name is sweet on the air, to hear it
tells me I am me. And quiet as a mouse
in the raspberry bed, I stay a bit
to savour the moment. Then scramble out
into the sunshine, hungry as a boy
escaping punishment. 'Here' I shout.
Nobody hears me. Still, a secret joy
settles at table, to fight my corner
for my daily bread, not merely the crumbs
but a summer pie, being the Jack Horner
safe in the knowledge of who stole the plums.
 
(For Robin’s Christening)
 
Don Cherry’s Violin
 
There is no such things as free jazz
The slaves are only rattling chains.
They stay put while the passing pass,
and get a whipping for their pains.
 
The sea is a slave to the moon
The earth is a slave to the sun.
Throw a giraffe in the lagoon,
And sea-horses will run the run.
 
When I play the wrong side of the bridge
ear-drums are pierced, but strings don’t break.
The beat leads me to the cliff edge
And, if I jump, it’s called a take. 
 
The sea is the slave to the moon
The earth is a slave to the sun.
Throw a giraffe in the lagoon,
And sea-horses will run the run.
 
There’s no such thing as a free-fall.
The chains won’t open a parachute.
But at least you can give your all
with a crash landing. I toot my flute. 
 
The sea is the slave to the moon
The earth is a slave to the sun.
Throw a giraffe in the lagoon,
And sea-horses will run the run.
 
Mallarme’s Encounter with Nothingness in Tournon
 
There is no such place as a void.
You can’t locate the emptiness
of what hasn’t a more-or-less.
So it’s not something to avoid.
The vicissitudes of outer space
are full of Nothings you can’t case.
 
Philosophers who choose to delve
into the source of non-events
will find the mind’s means-to-ends
a vacuum that contains itself,
and implodes. Thus coming to grief,
logical thinking voids belief.
 
To save ideas from the abyss
scientists play a cautious hand.
And start with a null hypothesis.
If disproved, it will countermand
Nothing. But there is always the doubt.
Can the within tell what’s without?.
 
Mystics know for themselves alone.
Though what’s beyond sharing echoes
in the higher purchase of those
who think it’s a gift not a loan,
and find out uplift has its price.
You’re trapped in a virtuous vice.     
 
Numerists can be counted on
to counter Nothing with a fact:
You’ve the number of the horse backed,
the handicap-weight at mounting, 
and at the finish know who’s won,
but not the square-root of minus one.
 
MallermÄ— saw Nothingness plain
as a blank page on which to write.
A ‘terrorist of the polite’
(Sartre) he didn’t sing, ‘Quelle aubaine* :
I am out of ink and paper,.
and return Nothing to my maker.’
 
He lived to accept the last word.
was drowned out by the Orphic strum.
‘It’s better than Nothing being dumb.
Hear the hide-and-seek of a bird
airing its territorial warble.
Words aren’t wanted to answer that call.’
 
*What a Godsend
 
 
The Eternal Biker
 
My feet are on the pedal of life
Yet my windmill will one day jack-knife.
Brakes jam, and over the handle bars
I’ll sail  to hit the heavenly ceiling.
But still I’ll continue free-wheeling,
turning like the earth around the sun.
Spokes singing, my afterlife’s begun.