These men have been here for ever in town,
they must be over a hundred or more
in number, and they know all of us well.
Slowly they walk through our streets in the night.

They must be over a hundred or more
as they were here when our grandfathers lived,
knowing them all and their parents as well.
They talk about wars no one remembers.

As they were here when our grandfathers lived,
how come they don’t die like everyone else?
They were in wars no one remembers now.
In dark clothes they stride and peek through curtains.

How come they don’t die like everyone else?
These men have been here for ever in town!

πŸ˜‰

I tried to do a pantoum here, the photo I made in Whitby in pub πŸ™‚ The dog just fell asleep on the bar.

Comments on: "These men have been here for ever – pantoum" (14)

  1. you captured the spirit of small town or island where people are all inward looking and doing things keeping the drabness of the town alive. Well done Ina!

  2. Yes, very nice, Ina, I think you’ve summed up a lot of towns and villages and I would think their ancestry goes back many generations, far more than we realise. Yes, there is a sort of ‘inward’ looking tendency but I can’t see anything wrong with this because continuity and sense of community is important. Was this inspired by Whitby/Yorkshire?

    • Hi David, thank you. I wanted a poem that was about old people who seem to have lived for ever, and then I thought of this pic I took in The Fleece in Whitby. The man standing is my husband πŸ™‚ They are not as old as I would have wanted them for the picture πŸ™‚

  3. This is an unbelievably great poem. You do the pantoum form well. We all have seen these men, some garrulous, some taciturn, filled with more memories than life, powerful in their way. I wonder if I am getting close to being one of them? You do the pantoum form well.

    • Hi Thomas, your reply is like a pantoum as well πŸ™‚
      Thank you very much! It was fun doing.
      Maybe you are close, I have no idea! πŸ™‚ If you are, don’t peek through curtains! lol

  4. My sort of pub!!!!

    Your husband looks very much at home there πŸ™‚

    Arohanui
    David
    xxx

    • Hi David

      It was a very nice pub, and conveniently close to where we stayed (like 10 meters?) We both felt in place πŸ™‚

      Arohanui
      Ina
      xxx

  5. I know this town, and these men. Wonderfully written, as always!

  6. Ah, the pantoum; what a fine formm that is. I think it’s just right for this subject; the gentle roll of the repeating lines really captures the sense of time passing,but certain things staying the same. Bravo. N.xx

    • Hi Nick,

      thank you very much for your wonderful comment!
      As a pantoum there should have been 2 more lines, I found that out later, but I think the poem is finished, so I shall leave it this way πŸ™‚

      Ina xx

  7. For me the answer to the question is inherent in this poem…that such truth of setting and character never dies…

    I love the ongoing story of this one!

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