The Late Night Martin Kellner Show

by John Stocks


We are here, the boys from Worksop and Dunsville,
Everton, Misterton and Grenoside,
Our futures as still and unblemished
As the veiled surface of a mill pond.

And together we will weave a long rope
To lead us from the grime and the grimness,
From the misery of our dead-end towns
From the slag heaps and the stagnant canals.

We are the gifted ones, too soft for graft,
Who will drift from the plains of the North
To deeper landscapes filled with poetry
And obscure Parisian psychology.

We belong in libraries, lecture halls,
Drinking Sauvignon Blanc in smoky cafes
Catching late-night trams from here to nowhere
The wise ones, awaiting our departure.

And soon we will make a craft of leaving
Cruelly the families that smother us
With their hopes and well-intentioned love
And the warm blanket of their kindness.

You can stare at us
But our dreams are invisible.
Tonight
Under the covers, we practise our goodbyes
As we listen
To the ‘Late Night Martin Kellner Show’.


[Author’s note] The Martin Kellner show was very local. It was our way of communicating with other villages pre-Internet.


Copyright © 2010 by John Stocks

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