Guest poem sent in by Simon Koppel
(Poem #1085) Death of a Friendship
I mourn, now that your house contains such fractured shadows. This wine youve handed me tastes sour. I joke and you do not laugh. When you speak, assuming my approval, I stare into discoloured depths of my glass, longing to get away. Rain drives against your walls. The few shrubs you have planted shrink in the cold. Where there was amity, questions echo between us. Tufts of dark lilac branching from tall vases shed minute dry flowers like grief for a lost fragrance, leave on the smooth piano scattered omens neither of us can read. The past is empty of romance, its summers flecked with heartbreak and its negatives destroyed-. But werent there moments when the blue sea glittered, when the lithe curve of a diver forged another link between wave and cloud? I wonder, though, in fear were those young grinning faces always plague-marred, was the fun a lie, were dreams weve jettisoned mere husks about this dirt, dislike? One fiction may have replaced another for wherever I look with you I find, instead of light, a slyness. We could not name the truth. What used to brag lies in your cupboard under lock and key. You care no more for angels or the underdog, translating all the terms we used into intolerance. Your world now clusters round the emulation of the rich. I cant feel glad about old times because I am afraid that what I see here I suspected then but shunned the knowing. The tarnish of this has rubbed off on me. The years we shared look counterfeit. If so, more than affection died today. What hurts perhaps the most is that in you as in a mirror shows not only what I could have been but what I was or am.
The last guest poem, 'Sometimes it Happens', prompts me to send in another on the way that friendships can end. It's one of the most moving poems I've ever come across - there's something heartbreaking about the desperation of "But weren't there moments when the blue sea glittered...?" and the realisation that perhaps, truthfully, there weren't. I'd like to hope that in the end it doesn't always have to be like this. Simon