I sometimes see the world through stand-in eyes

required to face the fact of newly broken parts,

immobilised by indulgent recklessness;

yet disrespectful of the powers that be

that would rule us all and all our hearts

as we stumble, artless, through our useful years,

transient as a species, our lives full of cares.


Cut to the chase: I broke an ankle, a fortnight ago,

a bone located way below the focal point

of ordinary man’s quite ordinary sight, such that

little attention is paid to it beyond the town morgue,

where nothing and no-one passes unseen

by deep-frozen denizens literally laid low

 or, in alphabetical order, in lateral rows –


that is, side by side with the related feet and toes

of many local worthies whose ground floor appendages

must (and I muse) have been enthusiastically tapped

by one intent on inventing some bodypart percussion –

perhaps a new xylophone where six wooden sticks

beat an intricate mix, plaited and scored on old bones galore –

that might add some kick to our musical store.


But so flimsy that image of bridges to fame – a rope or

narrow plank – that sways as the gods stop by for a while to

smile and (mildly) make fun of we funny old things that get

confused with the news and tied up in knots, most

of our own making. Many drive miles to a beautiful bay,

park by the toilets, then picnic, then home – nothing gained,

nothing learned; no swap of bay-blue forget-me-nots.


The gods and goddesses chuckle and cluck: they have

observed the absurd, the surround sound of men

who might have absorbed their manifestation, which

I’m sure would count in the final reckoning, in the written CV.

Yet they let the gods be, undisturbed and unused,

so near yet so sadly far. Ah well, unlike deities, they will come

and they will go, lambs to their sole god’s beckoning.


I look at my disgraced nethermost joint and it

reminds me of walks where I have plodded instead.

I shiver in case it helps; it does, as a pup yelps as it faces the fox.

I recall the morgue, the fine new xylophone, then plummet in panic,

realising that at either end one just slides right over, into the abyss.




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Peter Taylor

Sun 14th Apr 2019 15:50

Dear David, Frances, Ray and Martin,
you have really made my day with your wonderful, helpful comments – before Martin popped along I was thinking in terms of the Three Musketeers coming to the aid of my d'Artagnan; I now have four musketeers! Obviously the more the merrier!

What a relief it has been over the last half hour to find that people (no not people, great friends) have read and enjoyed Music down the Morgue. It took me a long time to face the music and send it through the ether, direct, no stopping off at the morgue on the way! I do in fact have a broken ankle and that with the common sleeping problem of people with Parkinson's has curtailed my sleep quite a lot so I'm more or less hallucinating much of the day and night – there, I've said it, I've been relying on the meds to get the Effect! (By the way, the EffectThis is an excellent play which deals with the problem of the reliability of feelings that largely derive from the presence of serious drugs; Does anybody know if WOL has any rules on this?

Your comments are, as ever, very dear to me and all of them are carefully considered, then rejected! No, I don't really mean that. I guess I am as defensive/protectiveIn relation to my work as the next poet– It's always a fine balance between the raw you (me) and the refined you (me)– And maybe on occasions I veer too closely to the raw. Thank you very much for spending so much time on reading and commenting. Have a lovely weekend.
Peter T

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Martin Elder

Sun 14th Apr 2019 15:08

Beautifully put Peter on a subject that doubt some people my find difficult to talk about or even think about . A great mixture of seriousness and whimsey

Nice one

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Sun 14th Apr 2019 11:24

A balancing act between farce and drama Peter. You throw your net in a wide arc and then examine the details for our delight. I was thinking that probably being that as bones dry out they would have been one of the first inspirations of early man making soundscape s. (Being hollow). You have the tube like quality that belongs to the woodwind family eg. Well worth the long read. I hope you're doing ok! Some excellent inventive lines here. Ray

Frances Macaulay Forde

Sun 14th Apr 2019 06:35

You certainly got my attention, Peter!

David has pretty much covered my response to your clever words in his comments - particularly the last para.

The image of a line of cold, stiff, tagged feet being played like a Xylophone by someone in a white coat, gleefully making music... will stay with me.

Thank you.

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