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a webzine of new and unpublished work

        Poems in Parenthesis



Will I be survived by my parenthesis?
The children that I had won’t go amiss.
That is poems which I have incapsulated
in brackets and could find their feet if mated
by future readers. The chances are small
of them being counted as immortal.
My evil genius advises ‘drink ink
And watch your poems going down the sink’.


I’m not embittered by the sweet
nothings of competitive fame.
Prize winning is a loser’s game.
I’d be ashamed to compete.
Being nameless is up my street
for triumphs gained in defeat.  

Losing out to robots
is now sadly my lot.
The password that I’ve got,
a gordian with knots,
won’t cut it. I am not
quick enough with the tot.   

Old Hands
I had the hands of a violinist
and could swan the bow, stop the strings
with a vibrant touch that brings
music to life. Fingers and wrist
were able to do what I wished.
Alas, time has clipped my wings. 
All knuckles, like a clenched fist,
my hands can’t fly to what sings.
However, I can hear things
I missed while sawing away:
like birds in the air, bell rings
in happy valley, a tryst
with whispering winds, mountain springs
babbling like children at play.

I can manage such doings
as banging a kettle-drum,
packing a punch, till the fist
of nobbling knuckles gives way
to firing, point-blank, a gun. 
But still have better things
to blow: handcuffed by the wrist,
the fingers have a free-play.
on a thin-whistle which sings.

Baby Misanthrope
As a loveable human being
I have been an also-ran.
It began in my sister’s pram.
All night long, I’d scream and scream.
And so, I was put in the coal shed.
When soot didn’t muffle my cries,
the family thought I was dead.
It was only beddy-bye-byes.
That winter they put me in ice. 
But cold storage, be it known,
for the cold-blooded was nice,
freezing it out all alone.
I, having nothing to lose,
not even water, was free.
to chill who ever I chose.
The rest meant nothing to me.
An unlovable human being
at least will not disappoint
expectations. He’ll be seen
as the ill-omen to haunt
others’ lives. But if ignored,
can be lived with - no divorce -
a putting up with, the bored
disunion, for better or worse.
An unlovable human being
isn’t a social masochist
and so, I, as others deem,
don’t hate myself. But the wished
for love can be a curse. Exist
for yourself. Life’s not a team
game. You die alone. So be
an unaccompanied soloist.

The Break

Tired of
knowing everything
and nothing.
Tired of
always being right
with fixed ideas.
Tired of
convictions convicting
me not to think,
and think again,
so, my chain of thought
can be undone.  
Tired of
being tied to
tired ideas.
Give me
rope to escape
being tiresome. 

Cursed Relief
I’m browned off with my bladder.
Let it piddle on the adder-
olyp (that nibbles its insides)
viper venom to eat me whole;
so, I’ll be a growth that resides
in this baggy monster; my goal
being to reverse roles as a mole.
But good sense tells me that no doubt
it would be better to cut it out.
Nature calls would be less heinous
by doubling up with the ****.
I Sing the Body Electric
Facing the sea, arms out,
in loose blouse and trousers
the wind behind her,
the woman billows.
Here she blows
Wearing stout shoes,
she won’t be carried away.
The sea comes to her
generating power.  
For the climate good news.
Security Fool
‘You’re never safe until you’re dead.
So, I put a gun to my head,
But it misfired and killed my wife.
So, I must rest in jail for life.
I’m glad that I’m not dead because
I’m not at the mercy of the laws
of just returns where angel’s dwell.
I’ve found an escape clause from hell
where safety catches are secure.
Here but with myself I’m immure.     
On Abandoning My Hearing Aid
You dream more with age.
Approaching death, the page
is turned on the real,
and in sleep you steal
a future that time will kill.
It’s a must and not a will.
In short you are living less
in the mortal flesh
and the imagination schemes
the exit into non-being.
You cannot hear the stage
collapse, the curtain raised
on an abyss, the applause
echoing eternal laws.
In silence we are phased.   

Baudelaire’s Magnets
The flood-lights come on
when a living creature
enters my garden.
It is a cat for sure.
On flickering out
the fireflies of eyes
transfix me. I’m about
to be hypnotized.

The future is not outer space,
but inner. So we can dig deep
and excavate an underworld
until the centre of the earth.
is a haven of plastic moons
with flower gardens, swimming pools,
saunas and cocktail bars. In short
deluxe catacombs for rich clients,
ventilated by the last breath
of the poor people above’s death.
The Holy Ghost descends on me,
and I ask what’s the spirit of truth?
The Holy Ghost replies, ‘The Truth Is’
‘The truth is what?’ ‘It Is What Is’.
‘So, you’re an existentialist?’.
‘Of Course, I Exist’. The Ghost fades,
but the truth spirits on as it will,  
a green thought in a green shade.
 Praise of the Body
The mind’s a disappointment.
I think I’m with Descartes.
My body has its own bent:
putting guts before the heart,
the heart before the well-meant.
It has ruled for four score years.
More as a master than a servant
that commands me and my fears
to live life as nature meant.

The Hindrance
Jam in the aisle.
I had better move.
Getting in people’s way
has always been my problem.
The Cry
A plaintive voice on the top floor flat
cries over and over. I’m sorry.
Nobody responds. Is she alone
having killed her baby or parent?
I don’t see a dead cat on the road,
and saunter on with my hat pulled down.  
On the Feast of the Assumption
the church choir hits a glass ceiling.
The Blessed Virgin I’m aware
could be needing extra-unction.
Her halo is broken. I’m kneeling
before her, saying a silent prayer
that invokes the gods of gumption.
It’s not too late to try Ryanair.   
Pangloss: 2040
The sea is too hot to swim in.
But at least you can boil an egg.
Alas, hens have become extinct.
My dreams of icebergs, a skating rink,
go up in smoke, a fire warning:
all’s not well with global warming.
Haven’t we noticed
the leaves falling in June
and flowerbeds are dead.
and grass turned to dust.
and birds fall dead at our feet
and dawn and sunset meet?
Haven’t we noticed
the world is about to combust? 

Sit in your veranda
without a safety net
and enjoy the sunset
contemplating your death.
What the fates will hand you
as day moves into night.
won’t a surprise land you.
Mosquitoes will not bite
as your blood is poison.
And so, God’s will be done.
Your future’s looking bright.
Go with the common run.  
My Mother Said:
‘’Always clean your plate and empty your glass.
Remember the famine’’. I died in it alas.  
Aunt Helen
‘Not for me the Old People’s Home
I will live, as I die, alone’.,  
On hands and knees, she climbs the stairs
to show how well she manages.
The social worker anguishes
to be on her side but despairs
as the family weight is thrown
behind sectioning. Who cares
if she goes screaming, the old crone.
Tear Me for My Bad Verses
O when I was young
the words came easy.
Language was such fun.
And meaning breezy.  
Age catching up with me,
words are hard-won.
My tongue is less free.
Ideas won’t come.
And so, I must sing
what’s ready at hand.
Is it the real thing?
Or mere contraband?
But who is to tell?
Words are at my call,
save those I can’t spell,
or on deaf ears fall.
My critics all say
‘Your verses don’t scan’.
Which is true: I play
with the bardic elan
of syllables counts
(Twixt sevens or fives),
rhyming with the sounds
that my brogue contrives.