Roberts - Sang - 303

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They Sang Funeral Songs.


By Matthew Roberts.




When they bury me.


When they bury me in the ground,

or out at sea, or up to my neck,

what will they say about me?  ‘Hardly

knew the bloke, he traveled about


a lot, never at home.' Or , ‘Fantastic

bloke, really nice guy, had the pleasure

of buying him a drink or two once.'              

When they bury me, who will there be?


Children and grandchildren stood teary eyed,

whilst the mist consumes all in the graveyard,

or will there just be the vicar and the barman?

I'm sure by then I will have stopped caring.


And all those hours of worrying

will be flushed down the dirty brown drain

of all life's worries, confused plans.

The only thing for sure I have foreseen


is that on the day they bury me

in the next town and all the cities,

in all the countries I did or didn't

see and smell, life will always go on.




Hero that I am.


The detective lies dead on the floor

The killer lurks in the other room

Dark lighting, streaks of white

Blood on the floor, designer walls.

If I was the hero of this piece

Surely I would take on this devil,

Wrestle, struggle, perhaps shoot or stab.

Yet, the open door is behind me.

Am I the hero, or just another man?





They Sang Funeral Songs.


They sang funeral songs

because the factory is coming

to take away the local jobs,

many trees and even a school.


They sang funeral songs

on loud speakers that echoed

and woke me from my sweaty sheets,

sang along as I cooked my eggs.


They sang funeral songs,

I noticed all singers were old.

Youngsters too busy with their jobs

to notice everything is changing.


They sang funeral songs

but no-one seemed to hear.

All are plugged into their pockets

distracting them from what is coming.




Smart Casual.


They were a smart casual couple,

the type that can be seen in all and

any capital city on this day.

The old man nearby observed them

as they sipped South American coffee.

The man watched the glass door open that

before his hair was gray, heart was old

his loved one used to stride confidently


through.  Her hair had turned from soft brown waves,

to white, then the doctors lay her down and

gave her cuts, stitches and drugs that made

all of the milky waves fall out so fast

it seemed some days that she wished for a

wig to top off her dying in pain look.

30 something smart casual couple

laughed, hugged, talked of vacation - the world


is nothing of concern for them yet.

Walking home he feels her watching,

deep in heart of hearts he knows she's not.

Home - he eats healthily like she'd told

him always to eat - green and brown alike.

Read an old friend.  Remembered the man he'd

killed in a war that now meant nothing.

He settled down, alone again, and died.




Daddy Long Legs.


A Daddy Long Legs only lives for one day.

Here in Sydney , I don't know what they call them

and in America I heard they call them something different.

I'm feeling guilty now, spraying this bug

as it writhes in pain in front of me.


A Daddy Long Legs only lives for one day,

I feel guilty as it dies in front of me.

It's really early in the day I see.

Damn this daddy long legs for making me feel guilty.

Damn him for dying painfully, and ruining my day.





Chatting with a Hit man.


Once when I sat by a hotel pool

in LA, Panama , or Mexico maybe

a hit man introduced himself to me.

He was tall, slender, almond skin,

as hard as bronze.  His hair was black

and greased back.  As black as his silk suit.


We talked.  He needed a shoulder to cry on.

At the end of it all he said to me,

‘Please forgive me, for I was once a boy,

and once thought such sweet innocent things.

I don't want that little boy to go to Hell.'

I leaned in quietly and gave him my answer.





The Old Man.


The old man once had a life

but it had passed him by when

he was watching TV, filling in paperwork,

or worrying about his pension and savings.


He seems content now to finish this life

walking from home to shop

shop to pub, then back to home.

When it finally all ends he can start a new.


He swears to God he won't waste the next one.







In the past when I've fished

it's been a solitary thing,

or just me and my cousin James,

but he recently passed away.


Gathering my catch I'd wonder

back home, cook and eat by myself

or sit down with my mum to eat,

but she unfortunately passed away.


It was the first time for this country

that I fished - with my girlfriend,

in the sea with other tourists.

Soon I will leave this country and her.


This time with our fresh bounty

it was all a communal thing.

Our guide took the fish and a knife,

slice, slice, fresh sushi and sunset.





A Dying Breed.


The man was in a time of life

that was between middle and old

age, tall, grey but still walking

straight and with life time confidence.


Wearing earphones he crossed

the road he'd crossed a thousand times.

All the cares in the world and

not one of them was his.


The music danced with a Cuban beat

that had perhaps distracted him.

Car driven at no fast limit

knocked him over, not too hard


but with speed of the fall added

he cracked his head open.

The blood came forth, the woman sprang

out of the car in blind fear.


He raised his blooded hand,

and tapped her fore arm whilst dying.

Sympathetically, he smiled.

"It's OK my dear, totally my fault."


Matt Roberts reports:

I am submitting these poems for a chapbook, 'They Sang Funeral Songs', conserning the question, how will we be remembered? 
I am 31 and from England, but at the moment am teaching in Seoul.  When not teaching I love reading Philip Larkin and Hugo Williams among others.    
I have been published in several poetry magazines, such as 'Decanto', 'Adagio Verse Quarterly', 'Inquisition Poetry', 'Verdad', and 'Munyori' as well as some others.  All poems that I am sending you are original, and unpublised.


Copyright 2009  Matt Roberts  All Rights Reserved


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