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Tom Salter Feb 11
I have yet to face the mirror
And ask to grow old
So, how should I begin?

Begin wilting into a vintage skin:
Gaunt, creased and thin
Like the last sinking snow
Of a hushed winter.

And what of my hair?
Whiskers that once
Gathered as a forest:
Wild, viscous
And well-nourished
But now snipped
To the skin,

So, should I now begin?

Shall I face the staring mirror
And sing in a whisper;

“Can I yet grow old? Oh,
Let me shrink into the earth
As I exhaust and go bald,
And let me age into a smile
That no longer holds mirth.”,

So, should I offer
My permission?

And throw my voice
Into the reflection
And patiently listen.
Tom Salter Feb 8
Trapped now are we,
Encaged behind the curtains
Like rogue hares traversing
The winding canyons
Of travellers’ dreams,

Hares that beat the dust
Beneath their tired feet
And hares who do not lust
For grass beyond their reach,

Hares beating dust
Into the slits
Of sabbatic sheets,

Dust that sits
And dust that seeps
Into the wilted corpses
Of knackered beasts,

And now, those hares,
They look upon me -
A silence lost
In our final dreams.
Tom Salter Feb 6
I was young,
I was young
And now I do not remember
The fear that was sung;
Anthems of war
And anthems of youth,

Whispers of the guns
And laughter in the shells;
The duty of the young
Pierces our lungs
And sovereignty leaks out.

Oh, what is youth?
What come before the worm
When all that surrounds
Is a castle of dirt
And the stench of empire,

Empire dying
Not in the flame
But in its own dense mould,

And what of pain?
The instant clench of the stomach
As foreign clouds
Pollute our frowning muzzles.

What then of youth?
What then of youth?

It is as fragile
As the blue blooded truth.
Tom Salter Feb 2
Oh Ikelos, thief of my dreams
Steal from me not the night
For I hope of loving schemes
And an all so beauteous sight,

Long have you napped
Under the blanket of the moon,
Until the curtains cracked
Reprising the mournful noon,

So forfeit this draining rise:
An all avenging burden
Upon your somber eyes
That linger amoung the curtain,

Oh, sink into the muse
Of Nyx’s design
So that your waking blues
May surrender, and resign.
Tom Salter Jan 29
The cobbled roads
Are bestowed with toppled leaves,
A verdant dressing upon the lanes
Of old Warfield,

Perhaps a warning
To you and me, not
To follow the estranged lanes
Like the lone tractor
Teasing the outskirts
Of the wooden curtain,

Devil woods that drape  
Over her buried majesty;
The venerable body
Of old Warfield, and

Are you one who rambles?
One who marches
In the bitter spit
Of frozen streams, and
One who claws at the hedges
For famished berries
That wither into dreams,

And are you the one
That I shall take with me?

One who seeks
The bustling labour
Of vanishing bees, and
One who gawps at the larks
Who dive from
The roving rookeries,

No, you are the liberal feather
Flailing in the breeze, and
The one who
Tethers to the curves
Of falling seeds, oh

I should have been woeful Prufrock
Confessing on the fiendish walk
Until I am anchored by the knees.
Tom Salter Jan 25
The cobbled roads
Are bestowed with toppled leaves,
A verdant dressing that lathers the lanes
Of old Warfield, a warning
To you and me, that these
Estranged lanes are fragments
Of a greater majesty;
The venerable body
Of old Warfield, and

Are you one who rambles?
One who marches
In the bitter spit
Of frozen streams, and
One who claws at the hedges
For famished berries
That wither into dreams,

And are you the one
That I shall take with me?

Oh, are you what
He so eloquently spoke of?  
(The song that Eliot sought)

No, you are the liberal feather
Flailing in the breeze, and
The one who
Tethers to the seeds, oh

I should have been woeful Prufrock
Confessing on the fiendish walk
Of old Warfield’s lanes.
Tom Salter Jan 21
Twin doves endure the naked rookeries
Of Whitechapel, a breached stronghold
Tangled in the roots of blurred obituaries,

These birds are forerunners of old
Heartbreak. And the frosty window panes
Conceal the words that have been rolled

Into spears that pierce our seeping pains.
Oh do not speak of her: the solemn widow
Who perches drenched, staring at drains  

Wishing to ride the golden echo
Of a love she forgot to let go.
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