Michael Arthur

Ne'Er Extinguished Smile - Poem by Michael Arthur

Ne'er extinguished smile

Where is the grin that I knew so well?
That twitched at the corners before starting to swell
It twisted and arced ‘cross rooms full of strangers
Belying their thoughts of uncertainty, dangers
Uniting of those who had little to share
Comforting those who'd always be there
Allowing unworthy into the safety it brought
So simply disarming, inherent, not taught
Contagiously suspect bobbing to tunes
Crowds of old duffers grinning like loons
It weaved and it burrowed onto your face
A determined adder with excruciating grace
The smile as a weapon: formidable lance
When unleashed you stood ne'er a chance

If I'd something this precious I'd lock it away
Not share with the world day after day
Kept wrapped in paper or locked with a key
Selfishly conceitedly internally
Or others would abuse the power it wielded
Twisting the will of ones to be shielded

When it left, I was left, left, with my fury
Cauterised far too prematurely
All around they offered their platitudes: hollow
We nodded right through; each dealing with sorrow
That took hold, held tight and would always hold on
Smile was extinguished too early, too young
I wanted to rant, to shout to explode
Of unfairness and injustice, truth be told

At times when I thought I'd reached my nadir
I began to see that it was always near.

To be seen in the arc-steel spanning the Tyne
E'where I looked there seemed to be signs
The smile; it was there, in the sound of our glasses
As they chink in the pub, and surrounded by masses
Yet we sit as an island protected by recall
And seeing his smile in pleasures so small
As our eyes flicked to meet we had nothing to fear
The smile, it was there in the froth of our beer
It is there when the crowd at St James' roars
In the eye roll between friends when one of us bores
Its there in the throb and the beat of the drum
In infectious tunes that he loved to hum
When a riff seems to gnaw or soar through your pate
You can hear the grin and know it's not too late
It's there in the whir and the click of my gears
In the sweat on my brow and tiny mud tears
It's there in the pixels of the games he adored
In the ludicrous points of the achievements he scored
I see it in the swirl of the milk in my tea
In the bound of my dog as he runs, happy and free
As I journey to work and the radio drones
Sending daft messages as texts to your phones
As I write, the words will twist and deform
sending out messages to not cause alarm
For I know, like you all, that that smile remains there
And as age advances and I rock in my chair
And think of my life that's been happy and long
I've followed his mantra and kept on keepin' on
I still see that smile ‘though it's been a while
Ne'er diminished; ne'er extinguished smile.

Poet's Notes about The Poem

This was written about my best friend who died tragically young (32) . His smile was something that defined

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Poem Submitted: Saturday, May 26, 2012

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