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14th Anniversary Edition, Live Encounters Poetry & Writing Volume Five Nov-Dec 2023.
What If, poems by David Morgan.
What if, instead of food banks,
Those stains on common humanity and our lasting shame,
We had book banks where everyone queued
Not in cowering desperation but in proud anticipation
Of sustenance, mindful renewal and choice enlightened words
That truly would be food for thought.
What if books unsold rather than food were discounted at close of play
And rather than an unsightly scramble for reduced cost sour dough bread, slightly stale,
We stand as dignified humans celebrating our boundless capacity for curiosity,
As we rush to discover timeless classics at bargain basement prices
There is no staleness in crafted words no matter how old they be.
Lazy Childhood Days
Lying lazily on the grass beneath the twisting branches
Of a sprawling tree whose species I could never say
Lost to the world on a breezy summer’s day
No school for another four weeks
No tasks or duties left to perform
My mum had all the chores under control
Or so I selfishly assumed without ever offering to help
It was indeed a long, long time ago
How I laughed when grandma insisted
Childhood was the best time of your life
As she repeatedly did on every Sunday visit
Munching on tinned salmon sandwiches
As we watched the afternoon serial
Then headed for home on the big red bus
Every Sunday afternoon without fail
Each activity precision timed
A family ritual whose knot remained tightly tied
Until finally grandma was no more
A first harsh lesson in death’s close presence
My first memory of a loved one’s passing
Guilt ridden that I was unable to cry at the news
Grieving another ritual learned the hard way
Long gone those carefree lazy days
Confessional – I Never Really Liked It
An outstretched hand delicately, almost, but not quite,
Caressing the tip of a woman’s breast
A young couple unashamed to be undressed.
Hands entwined at the concert hall.
Is that where joy resides?
A kind of intimacy is what we all seek,
What we are schooled to need,
Desire that motivates behaviour.
Structuring our feelings.
Delimiting our choices.
Fixing our preoccupations.
It’s a pursuit that consumes all.
Lapping up our time, energy and resources,
We expend too much in such fruitless pursuit,
To largely ignoble ends, momentary spasms
And infrequent satisfactions.
I never really liked it.
Of course, one experimented.
Once or twice, I had my fingers burned
Learning the lessons of life the hard way
As we fragile humans are wont to do.
© David Morgan
David Morgan is by profession a journalist and editor based in London and Manchester. He has been writing poetry for as long as he can remember but has only started to take this activity more seriously in recent years. His poems always aim to be tinged with humour although addressing big issues and themes. David seeks to draw out universal relevance from personal experiences and incidents that provoke him to compose poems. Usually, the poems come to him quite spontaneously and are written at a breakneck speed; whether this method of composition shows through for good or ill is perhaps best left for the reader to decide.