Unquiet lives at the base

Ian Fletcher

These are the soldiers whom the Base restrains.
A starched life wakes among the melancholic walls,
The strangled voice of gutters where it rains.
The soldiers whose heroic vacancy appals:
The flaccid cigarette that crowns the face;
The moon-blank eyes in sicksweet urinals.
And in each moment rears the sad disgrace
Of useless work, of labour without hope;
Limbs unchained, but lost the sense of space.
While the mechanical, drab horosocope
Is daily re-affirmed.  In every place
They hug their deserts, and through deserts grope

Ian Fletcher (1920-1988) was born in London. Professor of English, Arizona University, USA and had formerly taught at Reading University. Served in the Middle East, including Sudan. One of the four Editors of From Oasis Into Italy.

Return to Oasis -- Shepheard-Walwyn Ltd (1980)