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Extreme Temperatures make me Worry About The Welfare of Others

A Poem for Leon.

Extreme temperatures make me worry about others
and how they're bearing up.
I drive past the Victorian prison,
walls double bricked, six foot thick,
absorb the sun.
I'm concerned for wrongdoers locked in cells.
I look up at disproportionately small windows,
designed to keep out cold.
Imagine no air.
Does extreme heat make murderers more murderous?
I fear for unfortunate bank robber cellmates,
those locked up for non-violent fuck all,
potentially throttled for a glass of water.
Things just got to him,
says a disconsolate, perspiring warder.
I know one in there.
I hope he's playing pool,
or writing home, or lying low.
I was going to send him
Richard Wright's Native Son,
but now I'm not.
In this swelter I could breed a radical.
It's far too hot.
I worry about him trying to protest his innocence
to a duty lawyer in a mixed fibre suit,
who sits on a plastic chair
roasting like a pig on a spit.
Drink lots of water, eat plenty of fruit. Ha,
I hope today's special isn't steak pie.
Keep your eyes on your window,
on the blue sky.
This heat won't last forever.

19 Jul 06

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This poem really draws the reader in. I like the way you can almost see into the prison, can feel the heat the writer feels (I'm feelin it today, v. hot where I am!)
Don't like line 12, I think it takes away from the integrity of the poem. But this is definitely one of the good ones, all the little details make it personal.
 — icepineapple

Thanks icep - I hope it stands the test of time in winter! I felt line 12 was important to get a latent feeling of anger in - I'm not a great fan of expletives in poems - they're so often used gratuitously, but i did think long and hard about this, so I'll leave it in for a bit till I get a few more reactions to test the water as it were!

I wanted to put an alternative slant on 'good' weather. Your name makes me long for something cold and sweet.
 — opal

You made me remember that I forgot my dedication.
 — opal

ah yes, people will feel thew emotion more if they see he poem has a personal focus.
 — icepineapple

Dear Opal

an exeptionally fine poen which combines insight with a feeling for justice for the oppressed. I can imagine it is pretty incandescent in prison most of the time and the unbearably hot day you so cleverly evoke is probably a reflection of the heat most prisoners feel in their heads.Why do we keep people in such inhumane and degrading places ,doing obsolutely nothing to rehabilitate so that many of them reoffend within weeks of coming out ,both innocent and guilty and their are a lot of innocent victims of our so called justice system incarcerated.

Larry society gets the prisoners it deserves Lark
 — larrylark

Mediocre at best, too long to say too little
 — propoet50

Thanks larry - the key to the poem I think, is the reference to the novel. I like your comment very much - it seems to grasp what is at the heart of the words.
 — opal

pro poet - we all see medicrity in different places.
 — opal

much as I like medicrity - it should read mediocrity, :-)
 — opal

52 degrees on the hell tube Opal. and still my pillock tomatoes which i grow on my suburban hillock won't ripen. the swines.

ha! hot innit.

i'm like a stinking sokc.

oh. and i like your poem.

 — unknown

110 degrees where I'm at right now, so I really relate to the heat in this poem.
All-in-all this is extremely well done.
A captivating read.
 — fallinforyou

mine are in celcius. how about you falling, farenheit?

the roads are melting here. what fun!

but i refuse to complain when summer on average appears only ten days a year.

oh goddammit. i just have to complain. it's just too darned hot for musicals!

 — unknown

Far., yes. It's really fricken hot.  Like..extremelly.  Everything's melting, lol.
 — fallinforyou

Those tomatoes need a lesson they won't forget betty - threaten to spray 'em blue - that'll larn 'em - the swines indeed. What's happening? I'm going to become infamous for pillocks on hillocks - heeeeeeeeeelp!

Careful on the old tube in this inferno dear, still, it could be worse- you could be the guy to whom this is dedicated - locked up for robbery he says he didn't commit. Glad you like it - I'm sending him this instead of the Richard Wright novel - don't want to turn him into an Existentailist - he might decide to go out and rob a bank, lol.

 — opal

Thanks fallin' - I'm pleased you like - it is hot isn't it, but I'm on hols - no need to go on tube or other mobile hothouses - hooray!
 — opal

Why are your titles so long?
 — unknown

nice. good title.
 — listen

Thanks listen - the title is quite important and i thought gave a little more to the poem. Unknown's comment is a little puzzling, as I try to be short and snappy. I try....
 — opal