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The Unwept Waste

Let funeral marches play,

Let heartbreak-music sound

For the half-death, not the whole;

For the unperceived slow soiling;

For the sleeping before evening;

For what, but for a breath,

But for an inch one way,

The shifting of a scene,

A closed or opened door,

A word less, a word more,

Might have, so simply, been.

The final tragedies are,

Not the bright light dashed out,

Not the gold glory smashed

Like a lamp upon the floor,

But the guttering away,

The seep, the gradual grey,

The unnoticed, without-haste-

Or-protest, premature,

Unwept, unwritten waste.

Day Dream

One day people will touch and talk perhaps


And loving be natural as breathing and warm as


And people will untie themselves, as string is unknotted,

Unfold and yawn and stretch and spread their fingers,

Unfurl, uncurl like seaweed returned to the sea,

And work will be simple and swift

as a seagull flying,

And play will be casual and quiet

as a seagull settling,

And the clocks will stop, and no one will wonder

or care or notice,

And people will smile without reason,

Even in winter, even in the rain.

Not Love Perhaps

This is not Love, perhaps,

Love that lays down its life,

that many waters cannot quench,

nor the floods drown,

But something written in lighter ink,

said in a lower tone, something, perhaps, especially our own.

A need, at times, to be together and talk,

And then the finding we can walk

More firmly through dark narrow places,

And meet more easily nightmare faces;

A need to reach out, sometimes, hand to hand,

And then find Earth less like an alien land;

A need for alliance to defeat

The whisperers at the corner of the street.

A need for inns on roads, islands in seas,

Halts for discoveries to be shared,

Maps checked, notes compared;

A need, at times, of each for each,

Direct as the need of throat and tongue for speech.

The Man In The Bowler Hat

I am the unnoticed, the unnoticable man:

The man who sat on your right in the morning train:

The man who looked through like a windowpane:

The man who was the colour of the carriage, the colour of the mounting

Morning pipe smoke.

I am the man too busy with a living to live,

Too hurried and worried to see and smell and touch:

The man who is patient too long and obeys too much

And wishes too softly and seldom.

I am the man they call the nation's backbone,

Who am boneless - playable catgut, pliable clay:

The Man they label Little lest one day

I dare to grow.

I am the rails on which the moment passes,

The megaphone for many words and voices:

I am the graph diagram,

Composite face.

I am the led, the easily-fed,

The tool, the not-quite-fool,

The would-be-safe-and-sound,

The uncomplaining, bound,

The dust fine-ground,

Stone-for-a-statue waveworn pebble-round

Symphony In Red

Within the church

The solemn priests advance,

And the sunlight, stained by the heavy windows,

Dyes a yet richer red the scarlet banners

And the scarlet robes of the young boys that bear them,

And the thoughts of one of these are far away,

With carmined lips pouting an invitation,

Are with his love - his love, like a crimson poppy

Flaunting amid prim lupins;

And his ears hear nought of the words sung from the rubricked book,

And his heart is hot as the red sun.