Walleah Press         Famous Reporter 19 (Jun 1999)


      Nicholas Moore — 'A lake for Tantalus'

At school they used to shout down corridors
At me, "The boy with the uncontrollable passions".
A boy called Fothergill invented it,
And ever since it's dubbed me like a brand.

And now there's you, and your unpleasant antics,
And I am once again on a quicksand.
For I have an uncontrollable passion for you,
Who are my love always, and you have left me.

What does one do with passions left mad, alone?
There is no way to eke them out in secret.
Women you do not love, and men you hate
For the hasty irrelevance of their conversation.

You can, of course, write lines of verse like this;
But that is your very breath, not consolation.
The desolation remains, and your future life
Stretches out before you like a lake for Tantalus.

Nicholas Moore (1918–1986) published seven collections of poems. He stopped submitting his work around 1950, but continued to write. Shoestring Press published his Selected Poems, consisting of both published and unpublished poems, in 2014.