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'


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