A siren prompts bystanders on their way.
Outside, blue lights blink intermittently.
If questioned, I'd have nothing much to say.
I draw the curtains, button the TV
and scan the fare: an oily game show host;
'The Hundred Greatest War-films (Vietnam)';
some cavemen kick a ball; fat ladies roast
a duckling while discoursing about jam.
Graffiti's all that grows here now -though fags’
ends sprout among discarded cans.
Bengali mums limp homeward, Tesco bags
suspended at their sides like giant hands.
Just down this same street tragedy unwinds
(I heard a scream drowned out by drunken jeers...
as paramedics checked for vital signs
two girls flounced past with cell-phones to their ears).
Awareness pricks me, sharper than a knife,
of awkward truths I might reflect upon:
you only get the one chance in this life
and, once that's finished, all you were is gone.
My neighbour's stereo is much too loud
(he just forgets it's on). I should complain.
The weatherman gives frost with scattered cloud,
some sunny spells and just a chance of rain.
Kevin Saving was born and still lives in the Home Counties market town of Winslow. He has worked in the caring professions all his adult life and trained as a psychiatric nurse at the University of Northampton. He has published two chapbooks, A Brand of Day (1994) and Rough Bearings (2005), an e-book collection, Miracle & Mirage (Caparison, 2010), and a full volume, A Want of Absence (Lapwing, 2017). His work has been published in such diverse outlets as Poetry Express, The Independent on Sunday, Krax, Poetry Review and by The Happenstance press. His poem, 'Dog Otter', won third prize in the 2006 National Poetry Competition. Saving is The Recusant's most prolific reviewer.
The Fall of Rome
The coliseum's strange delights
play, nightly, to the masses:
strutting divas, catamites
and culinary classes.
As the watch send out for back-up
whilst a mugger flees the scene;
as the unpaid taxes stack up
on the prefect's quinquereme;
as two censors knock upon a door
whose 'details' have been sold
(though Mr Plebus, eighty four,
sits huddled in the cold)
and the senate's guard dogs bark (one nips
his handler) tugging chains,
bronzed, laureated Caesar sips
fine wines above fouled drains.