An excerpt from

You Took The Last Bus Home: The Poems of Brian Bilston

Brian Bilston

POEM, REVISED DRAFT


I had to write this poem again.
I left the first draft on the train
and now it doesn't look the same.

The original was a paean to Love,
to Truth, to Beauty. It soared above
the everyday and all that stuff.

It would have healed estranged lovers' rifts,
stilled the sands on which time shifts
and stopped the world before it drifts

further into quagmired crisis,
ended famine, toppled ISIS,
employed ingenious literary devices.

I tried my hardest to recall
its words and rhymes, the rise and fall
of the carefully cadenced crawl

through the English language.
But it caused me pain and anguish
for there was little I could salvage.

It certainly didn't end with a line like this.



LINES WRITTEN UPON ARRIVING AT A HOLIDAY COTTAGE
AND DISCOVERING THE LACK OF RELIABLE WI-FI


slow burning days drag by
as the smouldering fag ends of hours
turn themselves to ash

second-hand jigsaws
sleep smugly on dusty shelves,
uncontrite at their incompleteness,

next to a well-thumbed
Robert Harris and the fortnight
stretches like old laddered tights

evenings drab with scrabble
and the death rattle of yahtzee dice
provide no substitute

for videos of piano-playing cats
instagram selfies, status updates
and Lionel Richie memes

instead this, the buffering
and the suffering and the shutters
which rattle in the wind



FRISBEE


Frisbee whizzing
through the air
above our heads
over the sand
into the water
onto the waves
out to sea.

You cried a lot that day.
Frisbee was a lovely dog.