nthposition online magazine

Death of a revolutionary


[ people | poetry - august 06 ]

Ted Grant (1913-2006)


The last time I saw you
I was twenty-five. You were the old coat
at the edge of the demo, saying 'No!;
your plastic bag
still packed with propaganda,
but the world going the other way.

Now, your legendary tea mug
finally stands at ease.
The morning papers come,
but you do not open them.
About the bombs now
demolishing Baalbek and Tyre,
you have nothing to say.

The past is a Northern seaside town in winter;
the cheap hotel, the abandoned pier.
You on a platform jabbing the air,
haranguing the boy I was: "Comrades,
we live in a period of sharp
turns and sudden changes."
My every thought, part
of your master-plan.

The future is the match between Switzerland
and the Ukraine, which rattles
away on a distant TV.
I sit by the water
in this town of Sunday painters.
I do not say, as you did:
"We have kept the faith."