Towards Better Democracy

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The piano

The piano stood in the corner for years
Broken keys, looking forlorn
Avid played here. Long gone now.
The owner moved away when he died

Drew crows, full to the rafters, he did
With his playing, his own inimitable style

Not known outside town, coming to play
After his work, every evening, playing his own

Tunes. Didn’t want fame. Record producers would
Come by, famous Impresarios, he’d shoo them away

For decades. He seemed to last for ever. Generations came
And heard him; sons became father became grandfathers

Devoted. Not every night but most. Avid’s music
Charmed beyond words, unlike anything else

You have ever heard. The owner, Steed, knew
Avid didn’t want a crowed from out of town

Never advertised, no billboards, nothing on the
Local radio. But when Avid died, Steed was

Heartbroken, lost interest in the business
It just wasn’t the same. Tried a few who

Plonked across the keys, thumped, out of
Time, out of tune. Custom fell off, the old

Crowd stayed away. The new crowd, rowdy
Noisy, unpleasant. Steed wanted to turn

Them away. I heard they are coming to
Demolish the building, make way for

Office block. I went by to look. Sure
Enough, there’s the piano in the corner

Everything else is cleared out. Just the wood
And the silent echoing ivory keys. I stood there

Memories flooding in. Avid’s music in my ears
As if he were there in that corner playing as he

Once always did. And, Goddam, you know what
I just couldn’t stop crying.

Malcolm D B Munro
Saturday 11 June, 2016


Filed under: poetry

At the waterjump

At the waterjump, the horse hauled
Up and threw the rider forward
Broke his neck.

They shot the horse.

Malcolm D B Munro
Saturday 11 June, 2016

Filed under: Culture

In the Wings

In the wings waiting for his cue
To go on life’s stage. Rehearsed his
Part, practiced, been waiting for years
Backstage, hearing all the others
Playing their parts. Envious of the leads.
Who wouldn’t be?

Now his turn is about to come.
Playing for real
On the lifestage
To acclaim.

Malcolm D B Munro
Saturday 11 June, 2016

Filed under: poetry

The Thunder Clap

No being one to put too literal a title at the top of the page, the title may
Actually be, My First Marriage: was it a failure?

The strange thing about poetry for the poet at least is that no poem no
Matter how personal, is autobiographical; there is no baring of the soul
In the narrative sense of the confessional.

The poem I Stand Naked Before You, while obviously not literally true,
Is not metaphorically true either. Since no poet can adequately discuss
What a poem means, there is little else to be said.

But essentially I Stand Naked Before You says, I won’t fool you. Should
I try to do so, I am fooling myself. That disingenuousness becomes
Immediately clear to the reader and the poem stinks like a fish.

Why talk of all this? To try and understand what it is that I, as a poet

Am trying to do and the underlying reason for trying to do what I do.
Central is my attempt to convey to readers my humanity and what it is to
Be human.

I don’t think such topics should be taken for granted. For a start these
Poems appear under a platform entitled Towards Better Democracy. And
That if nothing else suggests that we strive to be better human beings for
A start. Like being more responsible for myself.

So, My First Marriage: was it a failure is not a narrative. What I write
Here is not what she did and what I did, and when we did it. It is nothing
Of the kind. The key word is failure.

The poetic form, its peculiar form calls for an objectivity that no other
Written form does. The objectivity arises because of the self examination

That is required and choosing to share that self examination with the
Reader, knowing that what is written as a result of this process has a
Universality about it. You are human just as I am.

Furthermore, it is the xxx consciousness that is required of the poetic form
That concentrates the mind. No reader of the 21st century is going to
Thank you for rambling on for pages and pages. Swift boot where it hurts.

OK, it struck me like a thunderclap some ten or fifteen minutes ago, I never
Think about my first marriage. Now if that sentence doesn’t strike you
Then you are not paying attention.

I mean, listen, I, up until recently had, one form or another, been consulting
With inept and the not so inept psychological counselors since 1974 in the
xxx.hope of finding metal health. Subsumed, in my case, by depression.

This thunderclap occurred, as I say, a few minutes ago when I realized that,
Not only do never think about my first marriage, but that I never ever
Discussed it in all those countless thousands of sessions I will repeat that.
It was never discussed. Passing mention; wife, two children with house,
Cat, the whole tododdle. But mentioned like a line item on a resume.

Now, you are going to ask, and why should you not, “Why? Why did you
Never think about this? Never raise it in sessions.” The first question is likely
To be harder to answer than the second. Note though that here we have hit
On why I am writing this in the first place.

OK, why did it never come up during discussions in sessions?

* * *

The answer is easy, but like many answers, it begs more questions. It, the
Subject never came up. No concerns were expressed. On either side. This
Now seems astonishing to me. Let that pass. For now.

The answer to the answer is that what was discussed ad nauseum, right word,
Was my dreadful upbringing. And how it left me all screwed up. You know
What I mean. You were, or are, in the same boat yourself, or know plenty of
People who are.

M answer is that for myslef alone and not to offer it for anyone else, is:
So what. Yes, so what. Whatever happened was my responsibility. Ah, you
See, you are beginning to get the point. Where do our responsibilities begin
And where do they end?

I challenge you to show me a good book, any book, that adequately discusses
This. Was I responsible for the fact that my mother abandoned me? At the age
Of nine, (her age not mine), Freudian slip, that.

I was not responsible for her action. But what I was and am responsible for is
My action and reaction to that event.

OK, fair enough.

Was I responsible for the fact that my father beat the shit out of me on a daily
Basis from that point, aged nine, until I got to be an adolescent and simply
Stayed away from the house. After all, you can’t kick him if he is not there.

Was I responsible for my father playing some sadistic character? No, I was
Not. You know what comes next, don’t you? You’re right. I am responsible for
The actions and reactions on my part.

And here, dear reader, is what I did. I let him kick me. Did you see that?
Emphasis required. I let him kick me. Now it doesn’t take you long to realize
What that does on imprinting on character. And saying, “OK, you were only
Nine years of age.

It doesn’t wash.

* * *

“So, what’s big deal, poet? Why are you writing all this stuff?” Hang on a
Moment, you will see. Here we go, “Why did you marry your first wife?”
Because I made her pregnant. See?

You can imagine. I agonized over the responsible course of action. People
Around me at the time, never mind who, said, “You don’t have to marry her.”
Well, I did. But I am not going to take you through all the sordid details.
That’s autobiography, this is a poem.

The thunderclap that all but knocked me on the ground was immediately
Followed by another thought, I feel guilty about the breakup of my marriage.


― ― ― ― ― ― ― ―

Now we are going, if you are still with me, into uncharted territory. I do not
Think that Why did you feel guilty? is the right question. What affect did the
Fact that felt guilty have on you?

Had. For there much be a multitude of reasons for sharing all of this stuff with
You. The thing is, the moment you spot something like this, you are more than
Half way there. The answers unfold. Like closet doors. Almost of themselves.

You can understand why it is, and my wife of the time did not, that I did not
Fight. Did not make a fuss when she came to me and said, “I want to leave you.”
Did it matter to me? You are missing something if you see that the answer was
And is, Hell Yes.

* * *

So how do I feel having had this revelation? Relief. Release. The uncoiling of
A tightly wound spring. The sese that the unconscious is as busy as hell sorting
Through something I had never admitted to myself.

Now, at this point, I could say that all of the above is just made up. Just a story.
But it is not. That is not what I am about and it is because of what I am about
That you are reading me in the first place.

Where do we go from here? I really couldn’t say. The subconscious will do its
Work and the awarenesses will follow. Will I write of this again. I don’t know.
Probably not.

As to the question, “Was it a failure?” I have to say, no, it was not.

“Did I need to feel guilty?” No, I did not.

But then, you see, I felt guilty about my mother leaving

That too was my fault.

I have also felt anger …

Malcolm D B Munro
Saturday 11 June, 2016

Filed under: poetry

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