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a webzine of new and unpublished work

      The General Shortage of Time


 If you’re reading this I’d be surprised.
 The entire world is up to its eyes.
 Everybody is at their wits’ ends.
 What with job, family, needy friends,
 It’s impossible to find quality time
 away from this assembly line
 cut so fine one hangs on by a thread
 till it snaps and, time up, so we’re dead.
Being Me
I’m easy to ignore
if you want a quiet life,
an autodidact bore
whose pedantry means strife,
I scorn received views,
an opportunist of ideas.
Arguments I always lose
with my temper, if I’m teased.
But after words I am
ashamed for being such a half-
wit. Yet even the door I slam
won’t close, and I can hear them laugh.
I’m easy to ignore,
if you don’t answer the door.
Failed Poet

My muse is out of fashion
as she likes to share a joke.
This makes me a failed poet.
Nevertheless, I bash on
hoping the facetious ground
will crack open under me,
and the abyss is profound
enough for prefab tropes whose
import is deadly serious.
‘Don’t make me laugh’, my muse
amuses herself. ‘Fame for us
will be predictably
boring as ideal couples, 
and the bottom line will be
a couplet.’ My muse chuckles,
‘Just leave the jollies prevail.
Our success will be to fail’.

Family Crest

Fulminis Instar
(like lightning)
In sunshine I smile.
When it rains, I cry.
On a cloudy day
I’m prone to pining
for the silver lining.
Alas when it snows
I’m the last murk-rose
falling on its thorns.
However, in a storm
I’m completely my own
self, shouting what I like
about what I hate.
Still as I can’t wait
my thunder will come
before the lightning,
which conducts the strike
so, it earths my groan 
and there’s no harm done.  


Apres le deluge, l’autre deluge
When you smell
the skid of a tyre,
the smoke of a gun,
you know you are finished.
You die into
burnt offerings.   
When you smell
seaweed at low tide
your wounds close
like the womb
after a birth.
When the cherry blossom
is blown to ground
by the winds,
it deserves better
than down
the gutter.  
When the rains stop
the evaporating air
leaves life breathless,
and the freshness of the earth
is skin warming.
O joy.
Unfair Exchange
I’m not what’s called a nice person.
I don’t see the world in a soft light.
As a dog I’d not be the worst one.
With a bark better than its bite.
If I asked you how you’re feeling,
and you’d say ‘I’m good’, I’d blurt, ‘Smug,
only heaven can judge’. Appealing
to God is the act of a thug.
But still, I’m not a hypocrite.
I see the worst in everyone,
and myself. Expect, should you meet
me half way, my half will be none.
Yours I am sure will be replete
with the milk of human kindness
which I will drink to the dregs neat
in an exchange for a wine list. 


The Editor

Augustus gives me work in progress,
‘To look over. I’m not sure…’. I fail,
in my unworldly way, to notice
he is displaying his peacock’s tail. 
Treating the poem as a feather duster,
I comb out the detritus picked up.
Then pluck out fluff I think lacklustre,
and give the sticky handle a rub.
If not best pleased, he doesn’t show it,
at least to me. He is above pique.
His secretary tells me the poet
will be getting back to me in a week.
Shipping Baudelaire
My company is Laugh-A-line.
O my Sorrow is doing fine
as a sacred stowaway
on the good ship called Mayday.
I’m the captain of Pleasantries
who’s happy to shoot the breeze
with the crew even on the brink
of disaster. We’ll sing as we sink.
Sorrow, you’ll survive the wreck
and have the last sigh below deck
in a subterranean cave
where bubbles send to a wave 
a message, ‘Ride white-horses
and you can reclaim the forces
that will make the ocean rock,
renewing the world’s laughing stock’.