Poems by Tom Harding

We Were Not Serious People

We met for coffee, it was April
Our mornings were free then,
We sat in cafes on tree lined streets
That reminded you of Paris.
We flirted but made no advance,
We were not serious people,
The seriousness of our lives hadn’t begun.
We talked about love and Hemingway,
We talked about the war
We were sincere
We drank coffee until noon
In cafes on tree lined streets
On weekdays while the rain fell down.
We flirted but didn’t act,
We did nothing worth mentioning
For the rest of our lives.


I became obsessed by the bentwood chair
That sat in the corner of her room.
You couldn’t sit in it
Below the sloping roof and
It’s only guests were discarded clothes
And occasionally an open book
That the window would do its best to turn the pages of.
Some nights when I couldn’t sleep
I would listen to the sounds of the strange apartment building
And admire the chair’s neat architecture in the moonlight;
It’s sparse bone structure
And slender Scandinavian frame,
Like a minimalist nude paired
To the essential parts.
A picture of ideals,
As if designed by divine requirement
To deliver simplicity and elegance
Into the home of the workers.
Now here it was, with no room to be sat in,
In the bedroom of a woman
Whose complex demands
Would soon drive her into
The search for a new man.
Impossible to say, when it finally occurred,
What was missed most,
The love of the chair or the woman.


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 tomarianne.net.

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