I Bow my Head

by | Apr 12, 2020

In Autumn, Spring, or both, write the leaves that fall, bud, blossom or bloom

and children summoned after breakfast, clean plates, wash hands, to tidy up their room

meanwhile, the Vietnamese lady around the corner, making lamingtons, second to none

and the mechanic’s call to remind me, maintenance is required, if my car is still to run

and nurses who check temperatures at the side of every bed

and sideways I glance – and bow my head.


Then there’s Schubert in C Minor, carrying tension through his hands

dark, moody combinations, colours life, his death, as his last song softly lands

while other music plays, in vain, trying but it’s never quite the same

and interruptions, amendments, the Poets, who wait to hear their name

and promenades of spatial needs with a needle and a thread

while I stumble on in solitude – and bow my head.


The slowly cooking porridge and the coffee, make mine black

suffers nothing inconvenient, as if there’s a shortage out the back

the Mother’s taking knowledge and the Father’s at the lathe

risking everything while singing about the lives still left to save

in momentary thought oblivion, temporary amusements being fed

while I take my application, sign it – and bow my head.


Back to Schubert at the piano, knowing his days are running out

leans down upon his century, tries to twist if not to shout

and the lamingtons, like their maker, never out of style

brought to carers and their children, to energise their smile

and ceaseless eyes maintain a movement, just started, set to spread

while I can do nothing more – but bow my head.


And finally now, in confronting light, I bow my head

with the lamingtons all gone and with Schubert now dead

hang on tight, to the other side, ride the sacred cow

if you didn’t see me then, how is it you’ll see me now

no need to make enquiries, there’s no need to even try

I will now commence to bow my head – and quietly here just die.

© copyright – Stephen Newman 2020