The Lost Poem

TO

a

POEM

that was

LOST

in the

CITY OF
STOCKHOLM


 

I wrote a poem once,
At Stockport, not far from the gates of Europa
My friend was driving there one sunny day
Smoking reefers & talking about life’s changes
We ended up in a funky metal scrapyard
One of those places you never thought existed
Like when you were younger & joked
About where all the lost odd socks went
But this place was the real deal,
Full of Volkswagon carcasses,
Camper vans & Beetle hulks
& a couple of greasy mechanics,
chilling with the sun

While Nicky looked at a ninety-nicker bumper
I was suddenly inspired to write a few desolatelines
About the decaying Earth & the dwindling fuelreserves
& finished it off with an arty kind of twist
About discovering an old photograph of myself
Holding a pretty young lady,
She was wearing beads
Sat upon the beach of, perhaps, San Remo
We’d been drinking red wine to the rise of the sun
While our friends were making fire shapes beside us

…It never happened like that, but all poems need an end

So I stashed it away,
A single sheet of paper folded several times
Constantly forgetting to type the blighter up
Until it turned up in a book I was reading
Livy’s remarkable Early History of Rome
I’d packed it to study on my mission round the Baltic
Where, trawling about the soft streets of Stockholm
Wondering what the hell the plastic cows were for
Every time I picked it up the sheet fell out the pages
Constantly reminding me that I should make it safe
It would only take a second, but I never took the time…

IMG_20160321_173253678.jpg

I found myself having one of those moments
The sun setting sublimely as I made my evening meal
On the forecastle of the hotel boat I was staying on
The splish-splosh of the waves & a gust of seabreeze
Blew out the sheet as I turned a page
To float on the air like a falling feather
Time was standing still but the paper started       F
A
To slip thro’ the narrowest of cracks tween the     L        boards
To be found one day in the distant future                L
By somebody breaking up the hold for scrap           I
N
G

From Stockport to Stockholm had flown my fine words
& now I’d gone & bloody lost ‘em
I was well gutted at first,
Like the time my girlfriend ran off with a German
But, as I ponder’d home to my cabin empty-handed,
Past painted memorials of the age of sail
I had a remarkable epiphany
At last my poem had a proper end!

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