Has been

C.K. Stead

(Peter Reading, 1946-2011)

‘The only permanence I
suppose
is in having been’ –
                    thus
          in four words
            conjugating
present and past

        that one may say
‘has been’
      drunk and (I guess,
not having seen it)
sober
            a half century
at words for
animals, people, plants
the planet.

        ‘Have you a story?’

Every poet who has read
with Reading
has one.
            Mine (two)
    are from King’s Lynn.

Here’s the first...