Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Suburban Hero OR The Good Neighbour

Today's poem has not appeared on this blog before. I have nothing to add, but will let it speak for itself.

However, I would say to the reader who kindly says he enjoys many of my poems but thinks my collections would sell better and that I'd probably acquire a higher media profile within the arts media if I 'scrapped the gay poetry altogether...' Well, yes, you may well have a point. [Do I care?]


He was just an ordinary man, living
an ordinary life on an ordinary street,
and whenever we chanced to meet
he would always make time for a chat,
ask me (for example) did I know that
Mrs T at number ten had been ill again
with lumbago, old J at number five
caught a bug in hospital and was damn
lucky to be alive?

He was such an ordinary man, living
such an ordinary life on such a street
as you might expect to find anywhere
if you care to look beyond dull fronts
of ordinary houses, could be forgiven
for thinking no worse fate (surely?)
than this spending one’s days in such
predictable ways, the stuff of suburban
myth for centuries

He was such an ordinary man, died
only a few years ago in a road accident;
no complicated will, only a pre-paid
funeral insurance, a few items to friends
and the house to an HIV-AIDS charity
that found everyone confiding how they
had suspected he was ‘one of those’
but …immaterial, and the whole street
turned out for the funeral

Such an ordinary man, nothing special,
simply a nice, neighbourly homosexual

[From: Tracking the Torchbearer by R. N. Taber, Assembly Bks., 2012]

[Note: My collections are out of print now and there will be no new (print) editions, but revised editions in e-format are in preparation;  poems on my blogs include revised versions as well as poems that do not appear in any collection.] RT 11/16

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