Brian Louis Pearce

Poet and Novelist

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Philosophy: Ground Floor

On my way to Birkbeck's
head-scratch I failed to do
the decent thing. It does
not help the poor pink miss
a bit I failed to flick
tenpence toward her. You
know how it can cuss us,
fouled conscience, dog our bliss.

There was time to have nipped
back, just. There was time to
have nipped back, warmed the rude
cold comfort in her. Would
she have flipped my thin-lipped
coin back at me? Too few
things we have misdone, brood
over, can be made good.

Under the dome of my
old college*, I scrawl here,
no use to her or self.
What is our learning worth,
or beauty, if the eye
is blind to the quick tear,
the hand too slow? What pelf
makes good this love's missed birth?

In the cold street, a bus
takes bleared scholars home. In
an hour or two few are
left, except those who beg
or die. Lord, pity us,
you who see pink miss, sin
of ours, just as it is. Star-
baker, Christ, dole and beg.

*UCL Brian Louis Pearce

Third Way 'City Whiskers': sequence in The Playing of the Easter Music (with Caws and Caseley), Stride

© Brian Louis Pearce

This page last revised 29 October 2000