History – a poem by Julian Nangle


Feeble words fill the room’s dark duty
Rain slams against the roof above their heads
As two friends engage in final whispers
One, immobile, placid, his face disfigured
By loss of energy, by approaching death,
The other, white haired, offensively fit.

They sit together, close, one last time
Reminiscing through bleary eyes
Over past epiphanies and small awakenings
Resist spinning the tongue like a wheel of fortune
To see where the arrow of thought lands, finally;
They know its direction, that nothing can be done
That any battles to be fought have already been won.

Julian Nangle is 70 years old, is married and has had 5 children, and now has 11 grand children. He is a poet, publisher (as Words Press), rare book dealer (as Words Etcetera) and psychotherapist. He has been writing poems since he was in his teens and published some in the little magazines during the 60’s and 70’s. He has produced 4 collections of poems, the last being ‘Windfalls’ in 2014. He is poetry editor for the magazine Self & Society. In September 2017 he lost his youngest daughter to cancer which has prompted many poems relating to grief and loss. The poem published here is just one of them.


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