Until Next Time,

Poetry by Alun Robert

Polyglot Cosmopolité

I am a polyglot cosmopolité as I speak in several tongue,
a citizen of this wide world and probably further beyond.

Travelled often around the globe to continents three or four,
visiting many modern states and certainly some beyond.

I was world famous in my mind – I knew a few fine folk,
a voyeur of their wider space and probably much beyond.

Have explored much about myself from voyages far and wide
delving deep into my ways and probably gone beyond.

Once read an occult dictionary – could recite near every word;
knowing concepts off by heart and possibly more beyond.

Then ventured off for many years to arrive close to my Zen
reaching a place quite near by but probably not beyond.

There I spoke to many folk – I heard their every song,
lost their words inside my head and probably more beyond.

Learned to speak as they did, so can you hear my twang?
Mistaken then for one of them and probably others beyond.

But last decade I quickly aged – twenty years or was it more;
looking back to what I had done and probably far beyond.

Everything that I learned created deep voids in my mind;
more I ingest the less I know and possibly much beyond.

So when I speak have little recall what I have said, just gone.
Retention is at my skin deep and no longer is it beyond.

Looking ahead to a dark new year with fear and trepidation,
wondering what the future holds but certainly not beyond.

With virus and heinous disease spreading out of control,
know I am vulnerable and exposed, a human gone beyond.

I was a polyglot cosmopolité but do not know what it means;
a citizen in my own world though no longer further beyond.

 

Dear John

Yale tight in my right
inserting then turning
a counter-clockwise rotation
door squeaks upon opening
revealing to my horror
my mail box overflowing
after ten days on the Bay Beach
chilling in the heat.

Junk mail to Sir/Madam
monthly magazines on subscription
energy bills
cell phone invoices
threatening letters in profusion.

Reminder from my landlord
rent is two weeks overdue
with eviction on the horizon
nothing is worse
perhaps or perhaps not.

Por avión from Uruguay
Aunt Gertrude never forgets
my birthday
at Christmas
but that I don’t read Spanish.

Postcard out of Europe
brothers skiing Chamonix again
they arrived home yesterday
amused but bemused
I opted not to go.

A rose scented envelope
franked out of Durban
I recognise the script
red ink in italic
opening words of Dear John
guess I knew that was coming
doesn’t make it easier
the pain of long-distance parting.

 

Kerfees Letters

Another new year here … again
Kerfees gone
carrying memories of fun
of days on the beach
of weeks off school
of cards with wishes
of presents in boxes

of more socks
of new school shoes
of more wrong-sized shirts
of trinkets destined for the trash
of books I already have.

Does Kersvader never read
my letters pleading for presents?

I tell him what I want
year after year
IN CAPITAL LETTERS
but only receive what
I am perceived to need.

Perhaps when older
I will understand
the meaning of Kerfees
is more giving than taking
but until that happens
I will write to Kersvader
again and again … and again.

 

Forgotten Words

Scream!
Shout!
2022 is here.
New vista
New challenges
New resolutions to break.
Old forgotten
Old lifestyle gone
Old habits discarded.

Yet in the light of day
Nothing has changed.
Poverty
Malnutrition
Injustice
Discrimination.

Warring
Revenge
Beatings
Nefarious battles
Drugs
Thugs
Conflicts, in some spurious name.

Have the words of Madiba
Been forgotten already for
Let there be justice for all.
Let there be peace for all.
Let there be work, bread,
water and salt for all.

Is anyone listening?
If not, shame.