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Defence of the Drunken Poet by Tom Harding

Late in June we went out
To gaze at the moon on the water.
I told the story of Li Po,
Who died, it’s supposed,
Leaning from his boat
Trying to embrace its silver glow.

How foolish, you said,
With world famous
Female disgust for folly,
Seeing only the great life
Eclipsed by drunken idleness.

I stayed silent in the moonlight.
What was better? I thought.
Men die for much less
And waste whole lives dangling
At the foot of other men’s plans,
Intoxicated by delusions
That far exceed
Small wobbling moons as this.

We traipsed back to the car
In a silence ruined by the rude
Rasps of bullfrogs.
I pictured Li Po there amongst the rushes;
Asleep a thousand years
Whilst the hounds pass.
Poem © 2014 Tom Harding

Tom Harding lives in Northampton, UK where, when not working, he writes poetry and draws. He has been published in various places including Parameter Magazine, Identity Theory, Unlikely Stories and Nthposition. He also maintains a website of his own work at