Monthly Archives: May 2014

Albert of Liverpool

Poem 1 Uncle Albert – The Unlived Life

We called him ‘Uncle’ although he wasn’t that
For he lived next door and wore a trilby hat
And for fifty years being the fast-walking dead
He walked all day with a shell-shocked head.

He’s absent from any war memorial stone
Although no memorial could ever atone
For the shell-shocked Hell of a life imploding
Immense percussions of close shells exploding.

Unlooking eyes with unwavering gaze
And seeming trapped in a deadly daze
He stared ahead, quite straight ahead
The staring stare of the living dead.

Poor Albert marched each day around our City
And in many broken hearts there welled up pity
This tall, unseeing ghost in trilby hat and gabardine
Silent witness to a war that should never have been.

While I as a child with my unseeing eyes
Never aware of Albert’s hidden cries
As he daily marches for fifty long years
Only now I see, through a veil of tears.


Albert of Liverpool

Poem 2 The Staring Man

From his sister’s house steps out the staring man
Shocked speechless by the juddering shells
Some fifty years before
Seeing not the playing child
Who, studying the ramrod man but fleetingly
Sees him marching ahead and only ahead
Towards his daily, unconnected world again.

Only now does the former child
Sense perhaps the fearful prison
That held poor Albert
In its savage grip
For fifty years.

And the child of those far distant days
Now weeps for him.


Should Bobby, Margery or Raymond read these two poems about their uncle, I would love to hear from them. Ric.