Nick Barlow wants us to celebrate National Poetry Day on our blogs. So here is a small cluster of poems or snippets of poems that I like, about death, booze, Augustinianism, commodification. You know, the things that matter.

Sonnet: The Last Things

Of course there’s always a last everything.
The last meal, the last drink, the last sex.
The last meeting with a friend. The last
stroking of the last cat, the last
sight of a son or daughter. Some would be more
charged with emotion than others – if one knew.
It’s not knowing that makes it all so piquant.
A good many lasts have taken place already.

Then there are last words, variously reported,
such as: Let not poor Nelly starve. Or:
I think I could eat one of Bellamy’s veal pies.
If there were time I’d incline to a summary:
Alcohol made my life shorter but more interesting.
My father said (not last perhaps): Say goodbye to Gavin.

Gavin Ewart

His poem about A Fourteen-Year Old Convalescent Cat in Winter is very fine, too.

From Pelagius:

… Sometimes when I stand on Blythswood Hill
And strain my eyes (they are old now) to catch
Those changing lights of evening, and the clouds
Going their fiery way towards the firth,
I think we must just be ourselves at last
And wait like prophets – no, not wait, work! –
As prophets do, to see the props dissolve,
The crutches, threats, vain promises,
Altars, ordinances, comminations
Melt off into forgetfulness.
My robe flaps; a gull swoops; man is all.
Cathurian towers will ring this hill.
Engines unheard of yet will walk the Clyde.
I do not even need to raise my arms,
My blessing breathes with the earth.
It is for the unborn, to accomplish their will
With amazing, but only human grace.

Edwin Morgan

We’ve been publishing quite a bit of the verse of Trevor Landers over at The Voice of the Turtle. Here, to end, is a nice piece of silliness:

http://www.antimultinational.hypertext.poem.com,, , .,, .,,,

Trevor’s not a National Poet, though, since he’s from New Zealand. I don’t know if that matters.

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