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    NINE RHYMES FOR A FRIEND

    Date:

    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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