Not for Discussion


When she fell ill, I told him the same day.
It’s terrible, it’s terrible – these words
were all he said or could find to say,
man to man, over the fence, and two yards’
gap landed me another planet away.

We play the pat posturings of pretence:
Christmas card for card, my proffered spanner
at his garage door, his squeezed-out comments
on the weather – the lips are kept thinner,
and it’s a brick wall now, not a flimsy fence.

A man tanked in double glass, chubbed indoors,
cavity-valiumed with TV, he’s
wired for all-round bliss; hermetic décors
admit no fear, keep out What’s-his-name who’s
a real-life reminder of what he ignores.

Clearly behind smiles, I’m supposed to hide!
Mankind – I thought we travelled together:
cruising round the sun, a shared cabin-ride?
No, a man may ground himself – whenever
the sensors detect the Invader outside.



© Nemo 2023
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Stunning Gerald, such a clear observation of life locked behind doors cold and insular post berievment delicately laced into the theme. Bravo


You have skilfully highlighted the breakdown of a long-standing friendship due to the realisation and the denial of an unwelcome and malign invader, too painful to contemplate.


Very thought provoking. We all shy away to some degree at such situations, I think. So difficult to say the right thing. Good poetry.


I remember this one well because it had a strong impact on me, it’s very tempting to withdraw from things that scare us, it is much easier to run and hide until we can gather enough strength in ourselves to go forward and face a painful situation. Some people like your neighbour never can face it though. Sue.

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