Michael Caines


A common scene that’s weirdly past forgetting:
him waxing parliamentary down the Bird
and Baby. Him boldly, wisely, this-or-that-ing
on-the-other-hand-ing; him going hard

at some pressing theme of the day; and us, sitting
around him, pint by pint, contributing
by listening. We nod; we sip. It riles
none of us to entertain this rehearsal

for high office. When later years press in,
to hear the chamber resound with his voice again,
it merely feels good to know that the role
has gone to one so very born to rule.
Ignore the whispers. (But which ones have you heard?)
This is the kind of man who gets things done.

Buffoon by Michael Caines was highly commended in the Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry Competition (November 2019) judged by Oz Hardwick

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