Bernard Saint

 

 

Marcus Aurelius on the Poetry Reading

 

Whenever I hear the word 'poetry'

I fear I shall soon lose money

Call me a miser if you wish

 

This dread is based on raw experience

To which I would subscribe

In preference to your curious magazine

 

In my time a poet was paid outright  -

Infrequently he might receive

Requests to read without a fee

 

Now this measure is taken as read

Soon he will pay admission

To his very own poetry reading

 

Such a disadvantaged state deserves

Your callous blackleg egoists

Who seeking urgent audience take all

 

By dint of doing everything for free  -

They rob the wine and meat of those

Who lack their private income and tax haven

 

Do they feel they have something to say

That will not wait  -

As schoolboys who rush home to blurt their news?

 

And that is why today

All poetry counts for nothing

Too many clever simpletons ignore the common good

 

 

A Piercing

 

Silvio   that ring through your nose

Just call it 'modern poet'

Why?

You simple beast it means

Anyone can lead you anywhere

By promising 'a reading'

Or a pamphlet publication without payment

 

 

Bernard Saint © 2019

Horace Ode Xxv Flip-Gendered

 

He is old

And wanting to be wanted

He drinks too much then forces conversation

Earnestly on office girls

Who hide their unkind smiles Behind cupped hands

 

He thinks that Cupid needs another cocktail

But the song he stands to sing

Nobody knows  -

 

If love might stumble in its flight

Resting on a blasted oak

Or tender olive branch

It cares as little for its perch

As any crumpled rummy in a bar

 

And with his teeth unnaturally white

Sparse hair enhanced by silver from a sachet

Nothing can restore years cast away

In shepherding his wrinkled sheaf of verses

 

But time that stored all memory within them

Now makes its vicious audit

 

 

Marcus Aurelius in Luton Airport Meditates

 

They fail to inform you when you are born

Everything is matter most impermanent

 

The push-chair where you rule as potentate

Assured a maharaja's sweets and lollies

 

Swivels in reality

Into an airport trolley

 

You are a luggage that your parents push

Toward the certainty of their Departure

 

Your teenage years you lurk and sulk between the shops

But there is nothing offered Duty Free

 

The airborne world is solid hurt

A Boarding Card will put you on

 

A Budget Flight - on top of that

Your food and drink are not part of the Package

 

You forage a depleted Iceland shelf

For prawns on brown with mayo  -

 

Emerging from that hieroglyphic cave

An ancient urban man who must consult his new papyrus  -

 

You Google in a pre-dawn hour your flight

Into that night of nights from which you came

 

 

Bernard Saint © 2019