Jos Bitumen Archive Window – Issue 23

Remarkably some of Jos’s middle-aged poetry harkened back to a time of besotted love and harsh awakenings to realities proffered by others at his expense.


Your hair was as soft as a cloud

and under your spell I meekly bowed

but you reigned o’er me with coy disdain

and so my soft ardour did just wane

Then as skies cleared my mind to burn

with Keats’ hot truth upon that urn

I knew too well you hadn’t at all loved

me, a mere dalliance ill behoved

so you donned another jejune coat

and I my moribund cummerbund

we forgot each well-met swell kin

staring at distant stars in the welkin

new mornings lachrymose with adieu

and nights spent studying without you

He also produced a deliberately uneven sonnet syllabically mirroring unmeasured steps that played with the symbolism of weather like a child toying with its first mobile whilst remembering walking for the first time.


Not one to complain, I received your opprobrium

sobbing to myself in between such life lessons

propping up isobars under the whether

improvising scenes when I might ride your storm

To others I turned for sheltering tether

gathering myself with any port wine in a dorm

tending grassroots, so your casual hurt lessens

repairing soul to regain blessed equilibrium

I forgave you, for I knew not what you did

Even now, when wisdom explains my wounds

I think and feel only tender approbation

the therapist applauds my leaps and bounds

tho whispering winds cause some perturbation

I no longer hide my ego behind my id

The quiet sense of hurt despite heart-rending cruel loves indicates Jos’s granite black humour that seems to be much darker than it really is. We know Jos is going to be OK, whatever the emotional weather.