life grows thinner
with the thinning of my hair
I’m as unenthusiastic
as elastic on old underwear
socks that won’t stay up
pills that won’t go down
is there any decent reason
I should really hang around
except to watch the sun
till that lovely moment when
it goes over the yardarm
I can have a drink again

[first posted Apr 4, 2015]


In wine and verse I bargain with the night,
though wine is once again the favoured option.
The thoughts of men in print now rarely charm,
and tend to bring less sleep than irritation.
As for love, she may as well have been
a dream that I once dreamed in former days.
The pleasures of the flesh and of the heart
by lumps and bumps and groans have been outweighed,
Tonight as stars grow dimmer one by one,
no bright new suns have blazed into my view,
and as for those I marvelled at in youth,
old passions these, I do not now pursue.
From two consuming spheres I seldom stray,
dull circles that I trace to end each day,
sad orbits that bring neither peace nor light,
in wine and verse I bargain with the night.

[Note: The opening and closing lines clearly echo Robert Frost’s “Acquainted with the Night”. This is the second time this has happened. I’ll let it stand as homage to a poem that got itself into my bones. EB]

do drop in

my door is always open
– do drop in

unless of course it’s closed
then don’t be bothering

don’t knock – don’t enter
please just stay away

I’m the only one
that I can see today

it’s not that I don’t value

it’s just that I’m the one
that gets on best with me

unless we have a row
in which case help

the bottle will come down
from off the shelf

then I’m in no state
for partying

my door is always open
– do drop in


I see nothing but an old black door
and a hungry tramp
nothing more
now like some bar-room bore
I come back with leftovers
of a time before there ever was the drink

oh lay a blanket on the floor
and make an offering
take comfort in this refuge
of the damned
or any place you can
just like a tramp with leftovers