Read In A Few Words Online

Authors: Jan Vivian

In A Few Words

BOOK: In A Few Words


A Collection of Poems

By Jan Vivian

Smashwords Edition

Copyright 2009 - Jan Vivian©


A most unworthy

But observant man

Once said of her, that,

“Girl, you are a special one,

A sun rich bloom,

A blaze of petal,

And out there,


There’s a better one,

A man who,

For you alone could settle,

A man who’d love to meet

A blondly tresse

d one,

A man

Who had the soul to greet

A true word’s soft caress,

Uttered by a winsome lass

And who,

For all he knew,

Was loads of fun,

He’d be a guy who loved

A joyful freckled one,

A lass

Possessed of tender skin,

And yes!

A lass,

Who’d make the best of him.”

Oh God!

Where is this wonderful creation?

If only he would come her way!

Not now,

Or even unexpected soon,


A happy and portentous day

Had started with a mirrored face,

That stared back brightly,

And was heard to say,

“Yesterday was emptiness,

Today’s the end of loneliness,

We each possess a loveliness

From now, tomorrow and beyond

I’ll find a man whose touch is fond

The right man who to me is bound

By love’s unseen but caring warps

That brings to me alone, to us,

Our loves’ all-healing happiness”.


(With Apologies to John Keats)

She was pretty,


And thankfully,

Not stick thin,

So pleasingly,

Tanned of skin.

When tested conversationally,

She said softly,

I’m not brainy,

I'm just homely.

So, we gave it a try,

Nothing frantic or intense,

But from the first

It made no sense.

I’d lost it all,

Or so it seemed,


To horse-play I was in thrall,

To an octane high life,

To thinking I have it all,

Misplaced pride before the fall,

From grace.

I can get by,

With the little I have,

But marrying for money?

Now that seemed the way to live.

We got along,

She said it was l’amour,


No, just fleshy fervour,

Entrapment by the silken skin,

Enslaved to clammy warmth,

Within her.

But the girl, she had no dosh.

Ah well!

Now, where do I begin?


The officer’s whistle went

Over the top they’re sent

To heaven or hell, they’re bent.

A breach of the line?

Scarcely a dent.

Livid men, many lives

Family and civilisation,


Scenes so Infernal,

Sacrifices bravely Carnal,

Brigade’s men Fraternal

Memories, all Eternal.

Such glorious tales!

The volumes are thick

The walls covered, wide

But nothing, no nothing

Could stem the tide

That ragingly engulfed

Instantly, rudely snuffed

Out the fledgling’s hopes

Who, with boundless pomp


Were, with anxious prayers


In a cause thought just.

Fight on! Fight On!

To dust,

We must!

‘Til the end,

Bitter end.

And so, after one last sally

In a faceless, bloody tally

The War Office

Brown envelopes sent.

Our hopes,

On the door mat

They end.

“For Freedom and Honour”

The medallions said.

And our loved one?

Oh! Our laughing one?


Jan Vivian©


(or, In Another World)

In the grey dawn of everyday a singular man makes his way.

Alley dogs bark.

‘Not again’, comfortably cocooned residents remark

As the rubbish bins rattle, each day’s keep is a battle, of senses and quick wits,

For to him the hostel’s beyond bounds for he and his hound like the sounds

Of the street, where new companions they meet and gruff greetings they utter

As each to their own, in bags, worthless clutter they carry, they seldom tarry,

Too long, to consider their lives’ stock, even if many have been in the dock…

And, for him, a reputation’s sunk low so another life is configured, somehow,

On the street, where he may seem free as the air but he’s burdened by care

For disparate loved ones, ambivalent have somes, purposefully unaware

Of their man’s dishevelled habit, best suited to rural byways and ancient drove ways

That, at other times he wondrously roams and under sylvan arches he makes up a home.

But now, with many un-named others, a motley band of sisters and brothers,

He gathers and he sleeps but they, unlike him, society don’t eschew and a wilder life pursue

Even if graceless tabloids finally relented, false tales grudgingly recanted until finally,

They even said ‘sorry’...

But, Brian…the stories about you, they weren’t so easy to undo,

And so, a great life was lost at great human cost, but did they care? No…

A blip in circulation covered the waste of a hard-earned reputation. A normal life came to a stop

Before, from your own hearth you were hounded by persistent tales, gossip, all of it unfounded

As, behind hands, they still spoke of unseemly behaviour…not the wont of a respected teacher,

The tone of the words reminded you of some braying errant preacher…

Enough! Much has been written and said, a family’s gone; now a life is undone.

Deep down, his spirit flares on; his mind lives and he strives to forgive

Another’s unworthy slight, the blank indifference shown to his prevailing plight

As, with his faithful bitch, Fleck, the city’s streets he now treks

She’s companionable and dutiful, calmer now less emotional…

She’s like him, cast off, by society pushed out and acceptance by peers still in doubt,

But together, and for him Shakespeare’s book of plays, they fill many a wet lonely day as

A street’s place they find, many greet and money's capped, not beggared for they still see the light

Of each God given day and tenaciously cling to man and beasts’ well-trodden ways

Of love, mutual trust and forgiveness, to which their chosen God daily bears witness.

Jan Vivian©


I’m a miser…

I’ve turned off the radio,

I no longer care what’s in print,

They feed a mood of despondency,

Should I live or simply exist?

The sun still comes up


I can still take a breath.

At home,

I care for those around me,

While out there

Politicians pledge all my money,


They devalue what I have left.

And yet,

Deep down inside me,

I am not bereft.

For, what you can’t see

I count as my wealth.

Jan Vivian©

‘Post Card to Yolanda’


Finally, I find myself in a place called Reconciled. Calm can be found here, usually, after a turbulent journey through Suddenly, Trauma, Disbelief and a wasteland known as Aftermath. On my travels I rested, in Family and a haven known as Deep Affection. It will be easier in time to revisit from afar Memory, and experience anew a comforting location that draws me back, compulsively. I can relive the past by simply looking at a picture - of us. A silver thread binds me to you waiting at a portal, until I reach Terminus – and Reunion.

Your brother, Jan

Jan Vivian©

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