Peter Philpott

Towards the End
in memory of my father

And if I were, say, to like
Sitting in the sun on warm wood
Gossiping with cronies & acquaintances, if I were
Caught in this quiet world of old men
A rambling dead town whose suburbs melt past dusty fields
Into another warm comfortable place
Where the air is unstirred, lazy, not stale but
Known, used and friendly, fitting and easing
Like favourite clothes, long-lasting and accommodating
Radiating no other signs but being
Worn, unabandoned, convivial and passing
Slowly as brickwork crumbles & weathered hardwood
Frets and wrinkles, fractures, etching out
Old structures & strains, the good
Holding on with quiet & humble content.

And if I were
In this town of the old men
I would be, I hope, patient
Not for idiocy's sake or others'
But the long curve of meaning
Setting into what is so
Near its end.