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Duncan Richardson

Duncan Richardson pic

Duncan Richardson is a writer of fiction, poetry, radio drama and educational texts. He teaches English as a Second Language part time in Brisbane, Australia.

Elegy for a Radio Friend

They’ve started
the tributes and photos on the web
the thumbnails of a half-life
the life of writing
hardly begun.

You peer at the camera
as if looking into a future darkly
and your voice replayed on the radio
asking questions
as if you knew the time for answers
was too short.

And now your loud shirts
your limericks
and the million other wonders
that other people knew
you’ve taken it all with you
and left it all behind.

You can’t do this you know
it isn’t fair to bounce
through a swathe of lives
then cut loose
when we least expected it.

It wasn’t fair
to hold the microphone back to us
seeking heroes in the suburbs
and finding them
making us see
they were here
all the time.

Perhaps your stories were already done
but I saw how you plucked a scene
from the swirling air and drew
warm flesh and fear upon a page
then set it free for our minds
as you read aloud
it’s living now
inside my head.

behind walls

on their last posting
if there’s no family around
the Chelsea Pensioners travel
wrapped in red bags
trundling and jostling in a wheel barrow
like bulbs ready for planting

like young soldiers
in the back of a truck
squirming and staring
into their first battle

jolting down the path
pushed by the sexton-gardener
to join three hundred years of tradition
of knowing your place

a small plot
just near the back wall

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