wordsout by Godfrey Rust                                       Occasional pieces for friends   HOME 



Appendix out

for Jon(athan), Ros(amund) and Chris(toper) Wheeler

We had gone for a bite, with three good old mates— 
         Jon, Ros and the lad Chris— 
and after we’d cleared all the food from our plates
         the time came to reminisce,
and we wondered, while knocking the Beaujolais back,
         on their tastefully comfortable sofa,
what became of those three we knew, way down the track— 
         Athan and Amund and Topher? 

They belonged to an earlier, kindlier time
         of courtesy, manners and care,
when faxes were letters, when poems might rhyme,
         and children said yes, please, not yeah.
Where letters were written to So-and-So Esq.
         and an office boy wasn’t a gofer
and every Jon, Ros and Chris might aspire
         to be Athan or Amund or Topher. 

Now that boorishness rules, and brashness is rife
         they’ve no place in tabloids’ crass tricks.
Were they lost in some crash in the software of life
         which the Helpdesk was helpless to fix*? 
Was today's breakneck pace, where you must be first in,
         something they’re bred just too slow for?
Still they stand in the hall, too polite to burst in— 
         Athan and Amund and Topher.


Written for no particular occasion, November 1992.

*Jon was working in IT support at the time, which explains this otherwise random metaphor.