The heady days of catapults, caterpillars
and rosehip syrup long abandoned in the place
where lost childhood rests, in their wake a
‘Made in China’ poor man’s counterfeit claviature

Older yet no wiser the gatherer confiscates words
hovering free form hither and thither with his butterfly net
removing each and every one with precision from the mesh
some, those deemed ‘good’ now pinned upon a scroll
never to be liberated, the dregs, those rubbish ones squished
upon a Victorian tiled public convenience wall nearby
he named the latter art…it most likely was, perhaps…
some shook their heads, others grinned, most ignored
whatever, on a good day a surfeit of the little blighters enthused
set him off chasing reprobate Orson’s ‘Ribbon of Dreams’ seductive swarm
on a bad day ‘zilch’

Every so often, slipping in unannounced
through forgotten left open apertures
feral words showed their stuff and nonsense
siblings of those in his own collection yet not his own
these ones contaminated, born of misconstrued jabber
the tainted disguised as expression, point scorers
most begging, some brawling, all questing to be the very last word
so peripheral, yet a necessity to some though an enigma to the gatherer

Albeit a weary ever upward trek he travels west a little
to a place held dear, where the most dignified
cherished words ever spewed were spawned
a place where rhapsodic conscripts once stood
one last time on England’s green and pleasant
before the ‘Step Short’ command triggered the march
off down the hill to the harbour and a wave goodbye

He takes a snap into the sun, a representation in silhouette
hailing those that fell to save others from stumbling, pointless really
those others stumbled anyway, of course they did



    1. Just a piece I wrote a few weeks back for Armistice Day and forgot about until sat outside a café in Folkestone the other day at the very point the troops congregated before marching off to (for many of them a certain death). It is thus that the words of the war poets are finer than anything I might ever write young Marissa.

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