“Those Boys are History Now” by Robert Nisbet

I’ll sing a blues for those two boys,
cycling through their time and place,
a south-west corner of a small island,
thirteen years on from a continent’s vast war.
A tall road, summer-sweet with tarmac,
climbing from a seaside village,
from rock pool to hedgerow, tyre hum –
and the dates, the hopes, that Friday next,
the girls with pony-tails.
They are history now, those boys,
and we might search for them,
the names, the boys, the sentiments,
stacked up in family photos, newspapers,
exam results and names of teams,
postcards from Paris, microfilm.
(Praise, praise, to the stackers and recorders).
Sometimes they seem to fade, that scene, the people,
yet still they haunt that recollected tarmacked road,
evoking, evoking.



Robert Nisbet is a Welsh poet who once read for an American President, when ex-President and poet Jimmy Carter was guest of honour at the opening of the Dylan Thomas Centre in Swansea in 1995. Nisbet is a Pushcart Prize nominee for “Cultivation” (Sparks of Calliope, 2019).

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