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a webzine of new and unpublished work

Poemlets (2020 – 21)

Venus’s Halo
When the Sahara sirocco 
blows force eight, and the hot sand,
carried across the ocean,
meets the snow on Mount Canigo,
then with the arial commotion
the day light turns to orange, and
our town is bathed in its glow.
Dog Love
Madame Bertha Balou,
and the little Balous,
dote on their dog Louba.
But, falling on hard times,
when the family dines
on Louba in a stew,
they love him even more.
Cock of the Talk
Madame Coq
cannot walk
without her stick.
But moves quick.
Tic toc, tic toc,
tic toc, tic toc tic.
And talks the talk
at a wicked lick.
‘Coq a doodle doo
to you, too’.
Madame Clementine Ripoll
And all the little Ripolls
liven the surface of the pool
that we are all drowning in.
They live on water lilies
and ride the back of goldfish.
But if you are nice to them
you can be saved, so it’s said.
‘Nice’ is not a cry for help.
A little wave is enough
if accompanied with a
smile, and a light remark:
a Ripoll in time saves nine
lives and one of them is mine.
I never wanted to be Mister Big
I was born to be Mister average mean
Being larger than life is infra dig.
You can be yourself when you are not seen.
When I dance my reel’s a jig.
I don’t know the difference between
a healthy baby and a pig.
Except one of them is clean.
Nursery Rime
Little Miss Muffet
I'm afraid snuffed it
the curds and whey
went down the wrong way.
And Jack Horner
didn't warn her.

For Maddy, aged 5
There was a child who lived in a shoe
And hopped around, till discovering two
could be worn together without falling down.
So, with one on each foot, she walked into town

‘Put that in your Pipe and Smoke it’.
Puffing my pipe on a heather hill
I hear a woman cry, ‘fire’.
A man is running towards me waving his fist,
Tapping out the dottle on a drystone wall,
I was gone before he could.
break my pipe (in French kill me),
in my cloud of nicotine
I won’t be returning to the scene
of my inadvertent crime…
The Good Loser
When everything fails
recycle your fingernails.

Humouring Fate
On dry earth
    set yourself on fire,
       and leap through the air
to land in water,
       merging all four in one 
elemental plunge.  
Scared Stiff
      Cold feet are creeping up on me.
      I’ll soon be frozen on the spot.
      A living statue made of ice.
      A little sunshine would be nice
      to melt me back into what
      I’m ninety percent, H20.
      And so, I can go with the flow.
I have one hand in the grave.
It is cold when I swim in
mountain lakes or cycle
in the tramontane.
The other is full of life
And makes me think sometimes
that I was born left-handed
but will die with the right.  
Food Ball and Chain
My fat neighbours are on a diet.
      Every night at three o'clock the gipsy
      comes home from his bistro kitchen job
      and cooks a monster fry-up with scraps.
      The stench wafts from his basement, and stirs
      wild dreams in them. Their bodies sweat fats.
      Thus, weight is lost without losing sleep.   
Degenerate creature show respect.
Stop pecking at my heels. I’m not grain,
or even edible when uncooked.
Cannibals know this. You lack the pure
savagery that’s your heritage.
Flatfoot off. (Still, I leave out a bowl
of water when there’s a canicule).
Olympic Justice
In the snakes and ladders of real life
 junkies end up on the bottom rung.
In sport it's the other way around.
The athletes who, medically prepare,
 climb on the podium, and walk on air. 
In this town I’m on my own.
But accepted with good grace
for no one sees I’m out of place.
And if they did, I’d be at home.
Unborn Poem
I am drawn to the blank page.
I write in invisible ink.
It glows a white only seen
when the sun begins to sink.
Night is white in the poet’s dream.
Wake up at dawn on the brink
of a true new-born image
and it is a miscarriage. 
 Hell is Indifference
Beyond despair
is ‘I don’t care’,
the only sin
not forgiven
by those that do.
Like me and you.
The Book Tyrant
Books are bad for the eyes.
Books attract worms, mice.
Books are a source of vice.
Books take up too much space.
Books aren’t eco, a waste
of oxygen. Efface.  

Ere comes the ambulance hHere comes the ambulance  Parannoyed
I fear
and dogs
                What I don’t
fear doesn’t exist. 
Lit Players
When a bumptious scribe
comes rushing to greet you with
an extravagant, Hallo,
look behind you. There is bound
to be someone important
pushing you out of the way.
I make myself all small …
Life doesn’t slow down. It stops.
And when it arrives
You won’t realise
whose closing your eyes.
That my friend is how one dies.
The thought won’t be the death of me.    
Lunchtime in Bras de Venus
stomach trouble.
Become obese.
stomach trouble.
Call SAMU, disease.
The world once flat
now gone to fat.
 The Kneeling Woman
A Pre-Raphaelite Romance
No longer his ideal of female beauty,
he kept me on as his slave to duty.
I’m content as I suppose I love him
like everyone. I’m his unholy nun. 
Road rage
Without a velo
I’m a miserable fellow.
Alas the voiture
is hardly a cure:
I shout at the types
that are riding bikes.
I Don’t Like Rutter

His Magnificat,
being an agnostic,
is in B mol flat.
The words just scat.
Virgin Mary off sick.
 Long Life
Putting off our dust to dust,
It’s the hands and feet go first.
Wool socks and gloves are a must.

I was never good at exams.
My approach was to miss classes,
and leave the results in God’s hands,
but since everybody passes
the last one, I am confident
of being successful in the end.  
Money is the root of all strife
and religion the flower, my mother said.
That is not to say the tree of life
oughtn’t to be surely grounded,
and grow to fruition as nature intended.
But the laws of evil are up-ended.
The flower once at war with the roots
is now withering in deadwood.
Still its seeds live on, and the roots good.
Brexit Rules
The cutter breaks the waves with its prow,
and each slice is an illegal fish
Light Relief
Lightning in the eyelid
in the bowels.
Beastly Redemption
Love of animals other than man
was Hitler’s virtue. You can
dominate them to whet
your appetite or as a pet 
July Garden (Hendon 1997)
A purple dragonfly,
resembling a Russian
pole-vaulter in action,
lands on my elbow.
I ask myself am I
the bar about to fall,
the crowd holding its breath,
or the sandpit?

An Irish Prayer
The cloud that shaped like Ireland
is a dog begging the gods
to take the country in hand
so, people are not poor sods
beholden to high finance.
Send them with a Ceili band
to a cosmic place where their songs
will drown out political wrongs
and they can enjoy a dance
together. Wouldn’t it be grand. 
My Time

Time flies
and I don’t fly with it.
I ‘m behind time
but it’s catching up.
And when it does
it will be behind me.
Child of Nature
When the wind is up, I sleep in
When the suns on the sea, I swim.
But when the heavens storm
I’m glad I’m earth-born.
Just being alive is a win. 
Poems about paintings
don’t get the picture.
Paintings about poems?
Don’t be ridiculous
When I’m Brecht
I offer a window
of opportunity
He asks me to clean it.
It’s not for me to do,
I say. So, he breaks it.
When I am Rilke
My hair stands up,
my moustache is silky,
my complexion is mauve.
I’m perched on the edge
of the settee. My silence
is not just polite:
you can hear a pin drop
and bounce so the flower
in your hand opens. 
Tailback in Le Perthus
The superstores vomit out
carrier bags of fags and booze.
Look down from Fort Bellegarde.
Sun-blinks leap from car to car.
The stunned serpent of traffic
is static. Hannibal’s    
elephants once crossed this pass,
in Indian file, diadems winking.
Happy Ending
When I was well-known
I wrote the usual poem,
And didn’t like myself.
Now I’m forgotten
I am besotten
with my remainders on the shelf.
Small Change
A full moon rises above the charcoal raincloud.
A golden sovereign, it has shaken off its shroud
and for a moment, reigns in reflected glory. 
Compared to the real stars it is no more than a
small change for monthly barter, coining the air,
the petty dealings of a shilling millionaire.