It is no remembered silence I can break,
looking back now. You were most yourself 
when loud: with not the best jokes, but firing 
them off like twenty-five pounders at Alamein

while you observed, dead-pan, the flash and squirm
on the pitiful faces of those first comrades
you always kept about you.  When I came, a child,
for my own needs I always misheard your voice

as something sure and elemental, a sun-burst,
which the leaves of the trees tremblingly applauded
as I swayed beneath the dapple of your half-regard:
an innocent oddity holding out a quiet book:

survivor on some bucolic or utopian plain you
fought for, bitterly knowing it never quite existed. 
Yet always my being here or anywhere depends
On your having believed in something beyond laughter.

Alan’s poems have appeared in numerous publications, from academic journals to literary magazines to anthologies to support various charities. His poems have featured in various competitions, including the Swansea International and (Canterbury-based) Save As. A pamphlet of 22 of his poems may be had for £2.50 (inc. p&p) on application to