John Godfrey


When I am older I shall spend my time
seated at the open window of a room
in The Marine Hotel on Aberystwyth sea-front,
listening to the sea
and remembering my past until
I can no longer remember how I got there.

I will be smartly dressed in what was
last-year’s fashion over fifteen years ago,
reassured by the timelessness of good taste.

From my window I shall hurl
occasional curses at the world because it’s now
what I couldn’t stop it from becoming;
this will be one of my few remaining pleasures.

Another will be to compose poems
which I shall never write down, knowing them
to be my best-ever work but much too good
to waste on the unappreciative.

And after dark I will wonder
if there was ever a time when every single bulb
in the lights strung along the promenade
was working simultaneously ‒
and why nobody seems
to replace the dud ones any more;

each evening I shall sit and watch them,
plinking out one by one.


If you ignore his teenage poetic
fumblings, John began writing
after being persuaded to
accompany his wife on a creative
writing weekend in 1986. He has
lived in Hitchin since 1978 and
has been involved with Ware
since 1991.  In 1997 he
took voluntary redundancy from
his job as a railway manager after
deciding that work was starting
to get in the way of other things he
wanted to do – writing among
them. This could explain why trains
sometimes wander through his poems.