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a webzine of new and unpublished work

Living it up or dying it down

The Revenge of the Auguste Clown
‘He who gets slapped’ (Lon Chaney film, 1924)
Living it up or dying it down,
my Janus-face masks a clown.
I don’t laugh but am laughed at.
My rouge hides blushes. I’m sat
upon and made to eat dirt.
And all in the name of mirth.
One day I’ll wash my face
to re-join the human race,
and, in full knowledge, I will speak
to the condition of the weak.  
But not yet, for I entertain
notions that are hardly the same
as everyone else’s. I view
their circus routines as a cue
 to spoil their fun with a joyride
on the horses. Sure suicide, 
but I am charmed, although much cursed,
landing softly on the sawdust.
I’ll borrow the ring-master’s whip,
and, laying all around me, let rip.
Waking Dream

The light in the garden comes on,
and it is you. But I am out
of service. All my belongings have gone
up in smoke. I can’t hear you shout.
Still you leave a note and the gate
open in case I might come back.
But it is night, and far too late.
Closed for repairs, I’ve lost the knack
of making do in a disaster.
And so, settle for peace and quiet.
I know I’ll have to pay for after
the affairs I didn’t put right. 
I could at least have made a bed
in the garden lawn of clover.
I must pretend not to be dead.
And you will tell me move over.
We’ll sleep in one another’s dreams.
The modus vivendi in sleep
is the present by other means.
It is a game of hide and seek.
The gift is not to forget
on waking, the dream-world we met.
M. the Mover
O your prime,
walking through walls
with sublime
indifference to calls
to watch out.
Bricks charmed,
you walk free,
right through me.
I didn’t doubt
as the crow flies
would lead to
a lost paradise,
and followed you 
along the horizontal
sky, walking on air
(no need to fly),
and so, we eschew
scaling the wall-
of-death above, two
angels, devil-me care,
who will never die.
Dead House
Nature knows best.
Nothing is forever.
Chicks fly from the nest
and leave behind feathers.
What of me will remain
save an elbow joint
with pins? Why complain? 
Accept life has a point
of departure. The lights
will still be on
and be seen nights
till the bulbs are gone.
So Be It
 In Praise of Waiting
I aspire to be patient
because the longer I wait
the longer I live. I hate
it. But my life was meant
for queues, and what is late,
until the promised advent
puts a seal on my due fate.
Waiting isn’t time misspent.
You live in hope, that’s a state
far better than when absent
(despair can only recreate
ancient reasons to repent).
And so happily I await
a joyous future event.
When you hear a creaking gate
a drop of oil will amend,
and so, what’s to come won’t grate
on the nerves. You suspend
judgement and all fears abate.
The now at ease will portend
a present perfect to fête.  
Waiting is not heaven sent.
In humans it is innate.
Daydreaming, around the bend
you meet with a tète-a-téte.
to float and thus transcend
life and death. Stay and beget
peace amen without an end.

Lavatera: M’s favourite flower

Lava wash away
tear, a
favourite flower:
cup face,
like a milkmaid’s
colour rose
with red stria.
in any soil,
anywhere -
or fallow
Latin name,
English name,
tree mallow,
pink when it flourishes
by the sea
Lava wash away
a tear, a
you’re ‘dear to me...’
To Arthur Rimbaud
Verlaine on hearing of his death
Mortal (angel AND devil). That’s my Rimbaud.
You merit the premier place in my book. 
Well that the beady-eyed bastards took
you for a beardless wonder and a bimbo.
Spirals of incense, and the strum of a lute,
welcome you into the temple of memory.
Your haloed name will for ever sing to me.
You who once loved my poor self, and that’s the truth.
Women must have seen in you a fine strapping lad
racy of the soil, beauty and the beast, wild,
afraid of nothing, although only a child.
Legend has cast you as an immortal cad
who gloried in pure excess and played with fire,
your white feet lazing on the head of desire.  
Epitaph for Rilke’s Pure Poet
Red rose on one eye.
The other closed.
The poet doesn’t die.
He’s merely decomposed
to rest words in peace.
No need for a knell.
The poems haven’t ceased,
being immortal.
His Pure Poet’s Grave
I’ll die in the spring,
to give leap to the growth
that my compost will bring.
For me blue-bells will ring,
petals in the air float,
and fragrance on the wing
of a soaring bird, loath
to make a nest and sing
on the dust of a poet.