NINE RHYMES FOR A FRIEND

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Knowledge

She said you were definitely coming
To discuss the plantagenet kings
And the crisis enveloping Syria
Because only you can interpret these things.

The first cut

Is it true what you said about Chris
That thing about Jacob’s first bris
On a Sabbath in Footscray
In a freezing cold doorway
And how it had come to this?

Where are you?

I’m hungry for news from wherever you are
On a bike, in a bus, in the back of a car
In a cupboard, a crisis, standing up at the bar
From near, from there, from somewhere as far
and exotic as Bunbury, or maybe Qatar.

No limits

I’ve still got your letters from nowhere
From nowhere I’d ever reveal
The intense revelations of something
Of something that I’d never feel
The need to be out beyond edges
Beyond limits that others have set
Teetering on life’s dangerous ledges
With your stubborn refusal to sweat.

Lightweight

There’s a glow over there where he’s standing
A biblical, comical light
An exposure of bright luminescence
Of duplicity, hubris and spite.

No, I really love you man

You know when I said that I loved you
More than seven pints into the night
That how it was you
Who made up the glue
That kept me standing upright?
Well I meant every word of that drunktalk
I meant every word that I said
Though it’s past time to [belatedly] tell you
I must get it out of my head.

Fate

Inevitable knocks on my walls
Insistently getting stronger
Think I’ll turn my back on its yabber
And ignore it a little bit longer.

Hate

I hate that you hated your endgame
I hate that I hated it too
I hate that I couldn’t disrupt it
I hate that I know what was true.

Exodus

I went to the place that you’d been to
I heard the song that you sang
I coloured in colours you’d dreamed about
When you thought you’d go out with a bang
But you just went out with a whisper
A delicate word in my ear
A reminder of all that we’d been through
And that nothing was left for you here.

© John Wordsworth 2017

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