I am moving house at the moment. While disinterring and transferring all kinds of things from boxes perhaps best left unopened, I found a folder full of poems and other bits of writing dating back to the early Nineties. This poem comes from 1993, so I was probably 21 at the time. Forgive me.
Ill with ‘flu and lying in bed one day
I was struck by an alarming thought
about the final entry in the diary
of Captain Robert Falcon Scott:
“Had we lived I should have had a tale to tell of the hardihood, endurance and courage of my companions which would have stirred the heart of every Englishman.”
The story that hitherto for me was legend
suddenly took a human turn of thought
as I realised I could never comprehend
the feelings that could make a man write
not of regret at a lost chance of glory
but his life in past tense before he was dead.