The Poems of S.E. Parker, Age 16-17

This is an unpublished collection of Sid’s poems that he wrote in the second-half of 1946, merely a year before he was exposed to Anarchist ideas. He was a member of the Young Communist League, and one of them was noted as being published in a publication called Comrade. This was the journal of the British Federation of Young Co-operators, an organization Sid was involved in around 1946-’47, after leaving the Communist Youth League. A few typos have been corrected.

The Ancients

Down by the village green,
The pub cloth stand;
Outside sit the ancients,
Mugs in hand.

In summertime they sit and listen
To the village band,
Nodding their grey heads in rhythm,
Mugs in hand.

When winter comes and frost
Doth nip the land,
Inside they’ll sit around the fire,
Mugs in hand.

And when they’ve passed away and buried
‘Neath the clayey sand,
I expect they’ll lie there stiff and cold,
Mugs in hand.

(April 1946)


The sunlight streams thro’ dusty office windows,
Reflecting on bald pates and typist’s bangles.
Throwing beams of light thro’ ill-fitting door-joists,
And patterning the leaves of oak and elm trees
On the green,trampled carpet of the forest.
Plants absorb its boundless energy,
And the rich brown nicely on Riviera beaches.
It illuminates grim prison quadrangles
And brings warmth to dank courtyards.
At eventide it sinks slowly in the west,
As if regretful at a job half-done.

(May 1946)

Evening in the Suburbs

From where I stand ’tis possible to see
The rays of the sun, glinting
Of a dusty aspidistra,
Set in some convention-bound person’s
Somberly draped bay window.

And, beyond the long rows
Of grim tunnel-back houses,
Can be seen the setting sun
Lacquering the sky with pastel shades
And silhouetting a slender steeple.

(May (?) 1946)


Oh, to be alone,
Divorced from the cacophonic world
Of war-flags still unfurled
And barrage of complaint and groan.

Oh,to be alone,
Leaving those people apathetic
To their future,and the pathetic
Starving peasants groan.

Oh,to be alone,
Away from politics of power,
Of watching hour,by hour,
The seeds of distrust being sown.

Oh,to be alone,
In some cool,leafy dell,
Separated from the shrilling hell
Of the continual ‘phone.

OH, to be alone,
Thus many have sighed,
And many,many tried
In vain, to be alone.

(June 1946.)

Song of a Bourgeois Gentleman

We who are of the bourgeoisie
Must strive to liberate and free,
Private enterprise from the state
And, in doing so, try to create
Conditions comparable to pre ’39,
When the armament industry was doing fine.
And millions were starting,
And wages were halving.
When Hitler was feted and famed,
And we were not ashamed
To give his great salute,
‘Tho’ even now this does not constitute
And offence against the law,
A thing we are most thankful fort
As,many of our fascist friends
Would have to follow popular trends
And try to be democratic,
‘Tho’ before they were most emphatic
In opposition to this course,
As(quite naturally)they much preferred force.
So my friends of which I boast,
Let us drink this as aglorious toast,
To violence and hard hittin’,
For imperialism and a fascist Britain.

(June 1946)
(Published in Comrade September 1946)

The Castle

Preponderating grey mass
Of weather-beaten stone,
Built on earthy mound,
Standing half-ruined, alone.

Can it remember
Those days now long past
When, besieged by foreign army,
Its defenders held fast?

Whilst outside,the peasants
Hoed, and tended their cattle
With stoic indifference
To their feudal lord’s battle?

Or, is it
So surfeit with inaction
And unable to think,
Incapable of reaction?

(June 1946)

The Pool

Down below my vision
The water splinters
In irritable futility
Against the unyielding wall.

Out on the wind-rippled surface
A thousand suns twinkle
From the opaque depths,
Like glow-worms suspended
In a blue-green night.

(July 1946)


Crowded room,
Ceaseless chatter
Rising above
The crockery’s clatter.
Figures crouched
Over tables,
Collecting boxes
With peeling labels

Waitress shouting
Diner’s orders,
Two landladies
Discussing boarders.
Gradual emanation
Of the diners,
Students and engineers,
Clerks and miners.

Sweeping the floor.
Finding a dime.
Chairs on tables.
Closing time.
Cloaked in darkness,
The silent room
Broods in stillness
Like a tomb.

(August 1946)

On Visiting the University during Vacations

The corridors are empty now.
No longer does the sound of voices
Travel along the channels
Of the musty atmosphere.
The tramp of many feet
Up the paneled stairway
Does not now assail the ear.
Nothing remains but the echoes,.
Doleful,as if the very silence
Was the augury of busy times to come
Driving away the wistful days
Of reminiscent peace.

(September 1946)