Richard Byrt – Two Poems

This Poem is for You

This poem is for you.

This poem is for you.
But only if you’re posh.

This poem is for you.
But only if you’re posh
male/upper/upper-middle-class.

This poem is for you.
But only if you’re public school/Oxbridge
and a banker or a Con Lib Dem MP

supporting nuclear arms, or policy
that leads to poverty.

This poem is for you
if you’re tired of being targeted
in protest poetry.

One Crocus

1

One crocus is enough
to outstare frost,
outstar ice crystals,
banish murk for ever.

One crocus is enough
to wake cuckoos,
make caws chorus,
orchestrate daws’
skitters, scattering twigs.

One crocus is enough
to rouse reluctant sun,
unleash painted ladies
to soar to endless blue.

One crocus is enough.
2

One crocus. Not enough.
A million crocuses, a billion people:
Not enough to stop this silence,
rouse daws’ chorus. Not enough
to wake dead boughs that scour
louring black. Not enough to halt
cells devouring blood and bones.
Not enough to thaw
permafrosts that freeze
bald bodies.

3

But still there is one crocus left.
One crocus is enough.

Since retirement from his day job, Richard Byrt is an active participant in poetry events in Leicester, where he lives with his partner by the Grand Union canal.  His first collection, “Devil’s Bit”, will be published this year by De Montfort Press, with proceeds going to Upstairs at the Western, a local volunteer-run pub theatre.