Leonard Ernest Scott's poetry

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23:59

Leave passes always state the date
and time I must be back in camp.
I lack the wisdom to opine
- nice word that - why the time
is twenty-three hours fifty-nine.
  
Why not let the midnight note
separate the sinful goat
from submissive sheep, keep things
tidy. Twenty-three hours fifty-nine
is like a column out of line.

 Anyway, what can I do
with this unforgiving minute?
Fill it as old Kipipper says
(that’s right, innit?). Sixty seconds
worth of booze, an' sex an' fun?

 Close by the last unlit street lamp
a whore is palely loitering
(nice phrase that; heard it before).
Time yet. Oh no. Might get a dose.

 Goat turned sheep by need of sleep
I must embrace damp Mother Earth -
seek for my allotted space
within this darkened tent. Silence
rent. I’m roundly cursed
by one averse to boot on face

 Why round? Cannot a curse be square?
Where’s a match. What’s the time?
Twenty-three hours fifty-nine.
Now I lay me down to sleep
Perchance to dream and dream anon
that I am home again, like
the chap who pined in Lebanon.