Poem of the Month: May 2012

Sometimes running a writing workshop brings its own inspiration; I gave my class the line,' He gave her flowers', 'I gave them flowers' etc. etc. I had been very, very moved earlier last week by the obituary for children's writer Maurice Sendak, where it appeared that he'd been with his male partner for over fifty years. I started to imagine how it might be for a gay couple if one of them went off to war....

He gave him flowers, didn’t seem enough
To shout goodbye and then just take his leave,
Shrug on his new jacket, the khaki rough
Against his eyes, the darkening sleeve;
Flowers that he knew were loved, a bouquet
He’d gathered early, tied with binding string,
And left there on the table before the day,
Left as a promise, strong as any ring.
Then watched and tended daily with such care,
Each petal’s fall a distant rifle crack,
Echoing and echoing from afar,
Each dead flower an enemy attack.
But one rose was found rooting in the jar,
And planted in the garden as a prayer.

© James Nash 2012

Poem of the Month: April 2012

Here's a sonnet from my forthcoming collection which gently pokes fun at ideas of the irresistible sexual allure of women, and therefore the need for them to cover up...

masked man
Men are quite dangerously erotic,
Only look at them if you really must,
One fleeting glimpse might be so hypnotic
You’d not be able to control your lust.
Oh cover the men, protect us from them,
That hint of ankle, that turn of their necks
And their lustrous hair which can strike us dumb,
Everything about them just reeks of sex.
I’m considering entire body garments,
From head to toe, for the whole of their life,
This will ensure that the only moments
That a man can be seen are by his wife.
And always cover their keys, to conceal,
That sudden penile flash of brass or steel.