Smiles and Fears

The first of these two poems dates from 1971, the second one was written a year or two earlier so far as my memory serves. More archive rummaging disclosed Two Lakeland Poems (circa 1980)  which can be found on ‘Mal’s Factory’.


Your smile, cast still, frozen in time,
a type of conquest. A past

Unchangeable; a victory containing
so much doom. My song is doomed –

Is it a must that enters
the open, there to be
Or else eternally

Discovered. Who hears my song.
The scheme towards the one
lays bare innumerable: one choice:
unlimited destroyed: and yet
are there: always there.

I grow. I journey on –
living the memories, knowing
there is no time
to which they belong. They are:
not were or will be: never again.

Once is for always.
You are smiling still. 

                           Malcolm Evison


Feel the fear tighten
as the man
looks at his freedom
and cannot find a way
to turn.

Feel the release
as he is told
that things will not change –
and share his disbelief.

Feel the joy
of the man who finds
what he had lost
during the search.

Feel the fear tighten
as they discover
the man has found himself.

                        Malcolm Evison

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