An Attempt at Verse Autobiography

BIRTH OF AN ALIEN – A work in progress.

The following three poems (or three parts of one poem), still in draft form, are of necessity laid out consecutively; ideally (though impossibly) they should be read concurrently as each covers the same period of the individuals early life. Autobiography is a new verse game for me but, I would appreciate any comments on the work so far.


Part One – SHADOWS (Draft IIIA)


I was born –
unimaginably young –
to a backdrop of war
fought on a global scale.

Doodlebugs fledged their way
across the scene of my nativity –
I swear (a legacy
of wild imaginings)

I heard the engines stall
as death descended
from the sky.

Childhood and youth
were spent
in the shadow
of a mushroom cloud –

as if by miracle
our lives went on.
Remaining unconvinced
by the ‘deterrence’ lie –

and guided by the light
of ‘Spies for Peace –
I joined the siege of bunkers –
which did not exist

according to
the parliamentary line –
where those that govern
could survive


improbable attacks.
Loophole acknowledged –
their reasoning must be
to strike pre-emptively


and I declined
the opportunity –
disowned all those prepared
for genocide, became


 an alien in my own land. 




                                            Malcolm Evison
                                            11 – 13 May 2009


Part Two – LIGHT

Wrapped in a world full of love
whilst all around
was hate and fear –

(the enemy was thwarted
but not forgiven –
their future generations

would be tarnished
by the mark of Cain –
I failed to understand

that reasoning).

From my own comfort
rich in love
if not in pennies

I began to see
the world
through eyes

of others understanding –
took stands upon
my parents faith

reluctantly accepted
unknown to many

of my friends.
Sunday was decisively
the Lord’s Day –

my father worked
being a preacher man –
my mother worked

looking after the family –
that was the day
I could not venture

out to play
with friends
whose parents

were otherwise
The radio was silent

save for the news
or hymn singing.
This was our Sabbath Day –

the would be sanctified
could only pray
for those proverbial sheep

so far astray –
it seemed
as if the second covenant

was made of rules
almost forgetting
the liberty of grace.


                         Malcolm Evison
                         14 May 2009

Part Three – THE SCHOOL OF DOOM (Draft IIA)

A rebel prepared
for any cause
I traversed many
scenes but never found

my niche. I knew
from early teens
what I must be, but first
I must break free.

Eager to break the bonds
of school (a kind of punishment
for being young)
I dreamed my time away.

Moving from one school
to the next, never quite worked my way –
fell foul of alien traditions.
Compelled to join a company of snobs –

(a secondary punishment, once removed,
for my eleven-plus success) –
teachers just failed
to understand the differing curriculum

from one part of the country
to the next; dismissed me
as unworthy of attention
when I couldn’t understand

their different scheme of things.
They made me hooker
in their rugby union game,
when all I knew was soccer

not the queer toffs routine –
no-one attempted to explain
the rules and I became
a victim, kicked and ground

down.  The previous absence
of a swimming pool
ensured I never learned to swim,
except against the tide –

they held me under
at the deeper end, then failed
to understand my trauma –
a baptism through drowning.

Loving to play with words
I soon lost patience
with the drill of prosody;
where words for me

had always throbbed with life,
they squeezed out their last breath
and bound them in a shroud
of grammar. Music

to me was singing,
but others in the class
had learned to read
a simple score –
the music man interpreted
attendance at a different school
as ignorance, my forte thwarted
by a different scale

of learning, and a tyrant’s whim.
And these were meant to be
the best years of one’s life?
Even school trips, had I been able

to partake, were way beyond
my parents means; in fifties Britain –
skiing had never been a part
of our lifestyle scheme,

not even part of any dream –
I made excuses, skulked
in the background
as if ashamed of being poor –

I never left these shores.

                                                  Malcolm Evison
                                                   15/16 May 2009

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4 Responses to An Attempt at Verse Autobiography

  1. Denny says:

    Hi, Malcolm! Autobiography in verse – that\’s a tall order for any of us, admire the effort!Here is where you really hit your stride, finding your rhythm:"where words for me had always throbbed with life,they squeezed out their last breathand bound them in a shroudof grammar."Generally, when I\’m writing, knowing it\’s a draft of many, eventually I hit that stride like you just did. Then I go back and edit all that came before with that Divine that peeked out – finally – to polish the piece. At least that idea works for me, may be helpful to you… Keep writing! Just let Spirit flow all around you, within and then bubble up and out with that undeniable force. BTW, placed links to 2 of your blogs, this one under the poetry blogs section, and Mal\’s Musings under the Musings blogs section on The Social Poets Fav Bloggers – http://TheSocialPoetsFavBloggers.blogspot.comMay lots of Joy be yours alwasy!Denny Lyon

  2. Malcolm says:

    Thanks for stopping by Denny. Your comment is much appreciated and, thanks for the "links" (equally appreciated.

  3. Biloxi Bill says:

    I enjoy your verses. Thank you!

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