Open Verdict

Provincial China, where foreigners' letters
come hand-delivered, well read.
This one's bearer already knows
that Trevor Jones has perished
before Renata breaks it from the page.

I wait for her to call the genie back,
to read instead the real, good news
from distant Brighton, not this stark portrait
of the solitary death of my oldest friend.

They say you drowned a toothache,
in oceans of black beer,
staggered home to your boat,
chased it with simple paracetamol
- a cocktail that killed you.

Distraught with difficulties,
awash with alcohol,
beyond caring or care.
Who has not been there?
If only you could join us
on the journey back.

Alone on that albatross yacht,
still, becalmed, dead,
you had no route of return
from the eye to the storm.

Bryan Murphy

If you've any comments on this poem, Bryan Murphy would be pleased to hear from you.

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