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a webzine of new and unpublished work

Bright Night

Not courtesy of a moon
nor a northern latitude,
but the sea light on a dune.
Fish scales, flashing their life
on the ripples, throw a spark
like the flashing of a knife.
The cut was all to the good
as the brightness spins a loom
to weave a ghost to be laid
into an ever-living sight. 
Her face is white as a sprite,
with starfish eyes, and the dark
above her is lit by the fluid
contour of a mermaid.
The sea-borne apparition played
with me as though we’re alive.
‘It will not survive daylight’,
says the shadows in the gloom.
I await the next bright night.
An Orderly Death
Dead in sleep is best.
Eyes closed by white coats.
Laid out by soft hands.
The inscription quotes
chosen ready-made,
black-suits box. At rest
with official aid.
Death Insurance (five grand)
assures a clean slate.
When duties are paid
all nature awaits
for flames to combust
flesh into ashes.
Dividends of dust
can be banked on. Is
what bone-meal nurtures
the planet’s future?   
Legless: A Very Logical Dream
A foot fell out of my sock and then I knew
I was in danger. The other one in my shoe
belonged to a stranger. Walking on your head
is bad for the brain and pedestrians. I've led
a sheltered life, but all the same I keep my hat on
when fear is abroad, even if it's one I sat on.  
The foot was mine once upon a time but alien.
Not that it smelt, being too far gone. A failing
I have is expecting dead legs to walk away
as though nothing happened, to live another day.
The foot was useless. If not already dead,
it would have curled up and died. I kept my head.
Dreams in Old Age
The companions that I dream
are a blessing in disguise
being dead: I have been
gifted a heaven on earth
where, without crossing the bar,
I can be where my friends are,
and to nobody’s surprise.
So, I have been questioned by
my mother about my life.
And her concern is, as I
knew it would be, for my wife.
Before I can tell a lie,
M pre-empts my answer,
asking me to dance with her.
I meet a poet whom I fought
to the life, knowing we ought
differ to be the same true
pilgrims on the route to the
higher class of an ennui
that’s unrequited poetry.
Bones of contention renew.  
While sleeping I can redeem,
face to face with the before,
what waking can only glean.
Meeting again, I could lance
the abscess of an old sore,
to give life a second chance,
and put to rest a buried score.
I dream myself into sports
where being the last to be picked
for games in which my cohorts
don’t blame me when we are licked.
For the beaten have a heart
and console one another.
We win losing, o brother.
Those who inhabit my dreams
are not dead. They’re otherwise
alive, for human beings
from memory can devise
resurrections in the now.
Peace-amen by other means.
Our maker, take a bow.
Mrs. Beethoven
For Ludwig’s 250th birthday
Ludwig’s wife was a well-kept secret,
as only in his music they met.
Having composed the woman of his dreams
larger than life with heavenly themes
lost in the clouds, she brough him down to earth
with a scherzo and the sweep of her skirt:
‘I’m no Virgin or Helen of Troy.
Just let me be your hymn of joy’.
And so, he forgot his private hell.
And true love made the orchestra swell.