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Young Man, Dancing

Quite nice, on the whole, that religious chap.

High up, apparently. (Could even be the boss;

‘Numéro Uno’, said a bodyguard.)

He gave me forty minutes;

Has some good ideas.


Drinks shandy with lunch

(‘Must keep a clear head’).

Unsurprising views on midweek sex (he is sceptical)

And Elvis impersonators (better in the North).

Unlike his autobiography,

Entitled ‘Who’s that up there?’

By his own admission, it’s heading South;

Already on discount in supermarkets.

‘Sixty per cent is a bit much,’ he spluttered,

‘After just two weeks.’


Towards the end, I noticed

The desperate, the destitute, in their thousands,

Pressing kisses against the reinforced glass.


‘Call my secretary,’ he barked,

As he swept out with his entourage.


You can’t blame him,

He’s only human.


As I left, I saw, on the far side of the room,

A young man, dancing.

You can’t blame him either.



◄ Square Root

Slackers, or The View from Washington ►


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Stephen Gospage

Thu 28th Sep 2023 13:40

Thank you, John.

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John Botterill

Wed 27th Sep 2023 20:38

I really enjoyed this, Stephen. I love the wry sarcasm and the cynical tone. It did me good
Pressing kisses against the reinforced glass
It describes the world we live in!

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Stephen Gospage

Tue 26th Sep 2023 18:14

Very kind of you to say so, Graham. I appreciate it.

Thank you, Hélène. Some of the inspiration came from one of Alan Bennett's 'Talking Heads' plays (not sure if you are familiar with these) entitled 'A bed among the lentils' , in which an ambitious vicar receives the bishop for lunch.
There are also the assorted ideas of the celebrity press round and meaningless interviews, the book plug (probably too late here!) and the rather controlling, bureaucratic nature of some religions.
The Young Man can be read in many ways but yours is completely valid.
Thanks again for the interest.

And thanks to Nigel, Ferris, Manish and John for liking.

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Graham Sherwood

Mon 25th Sep 2023 15:45

Stephen, that explains a lot (I think 😇) Whilst we are all in awe over your diligence with the Ukraine mess, it reminds us that there is also a very proficient poet buried in there somewhere!!

I liked it a lot


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Mon 25th Sep 2023 13:33

Thank you for posting a "quirky" poem from the past, Stephen. I too was intrigued. If you feel like it, tell us the back story on this poem. I read it several times, puzzling, eg is this about a spiritual leader guru type? I loved the ending about the young man, dancing, which went with the title. Spoke of creative freedom to me rather than unexamined religiosity.

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Stephen Gospage

Mon 25th Sep 2023 07:56

Thank you, Graham. Pleased that you liked it. I wrote this some years ago, in pre-WOL days. I have a few more such "quirky" poems in the locker and will post them from time to time.

And thanks to KJ for the like.

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Graham Sherwood

Sun 24th Sep 2023 10:28

I’m intrigued and still processing. Is this a departure? I like it a lot!

Regards G

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