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S.O.S. Lappersfort en Chartreuse
The Lappersfort Poets Society

Dear Tom

Life is short and positive, and it begins now!

Dear Tom, my wife and I cycled to Lappersfort
Yesterday afternoon, for a walk in the woods
While you were attempting to commit suicide
With the insanity of pills and alcohol.

Dear Tom, I wish you knew how much I admire you.
In spite of your human body, your tortured mind
You have all the dignity of a copper beech
In summertime, standing in a sunlit clearing.

Dear Tom, it would be a pity to take your life.
We have lost Marc Braet and Melanie Vanbrughe,
Two victims of the threatening world we live in
Recorded for ever in the whispering leaves.

Dear Tom, I write at three o'clock in the morning
While the birds are busy sleeping in the branches
Of the birches and chestnuts – immortal thrushes
Piercing our hearts with the magic of their singing.

Dear Tom, bulldozers and giant caterpillars
Are resting now from their apocalyptical work.
Robots in tin helmets stretch out beside their girls.
You are sitting up, staring at a wine bottle.

Dear Tom, this is an S.O.S. for Lappersfort
Projected with ghostly love on your bedroom wall.
Whether I will be here tomorrow to print it
Is totally irrelevant speculation.

The average life-span of majestic beeches,
Mothers of forests, is a hundred and fifty.
Dear Tom, do your best to make 30. Melanie
Will survive without you in the land of shadows.

Marcus Cumberlege

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