Harry Guest

the unexpected

for what can take place in an hour?
/ a rain
storm from what seemed a cloudfree sky
/ a train
one’s hoped to get on cancelled so must miss
a vital choice to win that job
/ her kiss
not given this time then the news she’s found
a different twerp
/ a phone that’s rung because
a much-loved younger cousin ran around
to hospital for surgery which was
a dark surprise
/ curt message to explain
that magazine’s decided not to use
an article they’d pleaded you to choose
the subject on and would have payed again
a hefty sum
/ one loving student once
more naked with his naked chum (a dunce
though handsome) but they start to quarrel so
both droop lose passion shrug get dressed to go
through politics of all ridiculous
ways to waste time
/ an invitation to
a wedding which stuns shifts to happiness
then lifts a friendly laugh “the Montague
has wooed and won a Capulet”
/ a bridge
that spans the Thames where people walk to work
five similar times a week on average
when suddenly a car swerves in a jerk
from road to pavement set to kill, maim, gore
as many humans of all ages for
the driver has been brainwashed to believe
a vicious non-existent “god” will heave
a sigh of joy to learn how innocent
men women children have been vilely sent
to death or injury while others grieve

For all victims of terrorism.

Harry Guest was born in Wales in 1932. After
reading Modern Languages at Cambridge and
the Sorbonne he taught in schools and
universities in France, England and Japan.
As well as poetry he’s written radio plays, novels
and translations, also a hefty book called
“The Artist on the Artist”. With his wife Lynn
Guest, an historical novelist, he now lives in
Exeter. They have two children.