shot glass
Issue # 8 September 2012
"... brevity is the soul of wit ..."
- William Shakespeare


Alasdair is a mathematics academic in Australia, who writes poems when he can (that is, rarely). He has a particular interest in fixed forms, and enjoys exploring the tension between informal thoughts and formal structures. He maintains a mathematical blog, which sometimes includes poetry, at

Alasdair McAndrew


Four men at the funeral of a workmate

(a Rondeau)


They do not weep, but still as stone
Stand by the coffin, each alone
In his own world, where's now a hole
Their friend has made. They've no control
In this strange place – each on his own.

Each face shows misery to the bone;
No sound escapes; no cry, no moan.
Their friendship shattered to its soul.
They do not weep.

How can this be; one who they've known
To work, to laugh? Now this cyclone
Of anguish, anger, takes its toll.
In this dark pageant their one role:
To coffin-bear. Inwards they groan:
They do not weep.