Poem by Gary Ferguson of Larne Writer’s Group

Robert, by Gary Ferguson

I saw you for the first time

today: or rather I saw an image

of you, black-and-white, tattered at

the edges, standing in front of

a white-washed cottage, a hay rake

in one hand, a bunch

of meadow flowers in the other.

Today, I saw an image of

you: slight, scrawny, a little vain perhaps

in that trilby hat and groomed grey

beard, looking like Lawrence lived

beyond his forty-four years

or Freud without the phallic cigar

andLe Corbusier glasses.

In the end, there would be no renowned

for you: just an ordinary life lived

ordinarily, then a kind of oblivion, surviving

in memory, snatches and snippets

resurrected over tea; it is an immortality

of sorts, fleeting posterity.

No, there would be no renowned,

no fame, though no-one, I heard, could

stack hay like you, heaping it high, hewing it

like stone, shaping it like clay, until

it stood splendid, shining in the summer sun.