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A Special Announcement and more from Sour Grapes

April 19, 2013


 As part of this: I will be at John Hansard Gallery Central, Civic Centre Road, Southampton this Saturday, April 20th, performing readings of my poetry. Another poetic event, at a very different venue, is being planned for very soon so please look out for it!

More from Sour Grapes

I called my first collection “Sour Grapes” for a reason, and the following poem comes from its third section, entitled “Disillusionment”.  Alongside personal defects such as gloom and idleness, I think the sense of anger here comes from the feeling of having one’s “work” defined and imposed upon one by external forces. We all have to struggle to prove our “worth” to society, and that task is particularly onerous to a poet!

Starting Work


It’s true, you know

I observed it quite dispassionately

You loved me less

When I wasn’t working.

I know love is a psychological aberration

Built on moments of joy

Shared accidentally

But I didn’t realise that it was based

On conceptions of value.

I did want to make you proud

I wanted to be worthy of your love,

I hadn’t realised

I was supposed to earn it.

You thought I should make something of myself

And I wanted to make myself better

Someone you could love, or at least respect.

It seems we both forgot what Christ said:

“I am what I am”,

There’s no use pretending

To be anything else.


On the day I told you

I had got a job

You sang a song

As though I’d recovered

From an unpleasant disease.

Were you happier then

Than when we tried to make love

Or went on that picnic?

I was glad as well,

It meant we had something to talk about.

But my interest in the subject

Of my unexciting job

Is strictly limited;

Surely you also find it dull?

I wish you hadn’t been so glad,

And said something like,

“It’s a shame

You’ll have to spend the day at work

Away from me and nature and your beautiful thoughts”

Instead of

“At least it’s a start

And better than moping around all day.”


You took it too personally

When I said “I love you”

And naturally thought I was mistaken.

What I meant was

“Today I love the world and all things in it

And I’m glad to share this moment with you.”

If I’d been with someone else

I would perhaps have felt no less radiant,

But I did want and value your company

And then, of course, I made you a giant

To feed my pride.

But the beauty inside all of us,

When it manages to surface,

Is too generous to limit its love to one.

My one ambition

Is to liberate that gold within;

It melts all barriers,

It could free us all.

This morning

I was an hour late for work.

One tries to be a little less cynical these days, but we all certainly need to keep working out what the true nature of “work” is and should be.


From → Critic, Poet

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