Happy Days

                Happiness is a warm gun – JOHN LENNON


Mammy tells me “Just read your book.”
I’m sick of reading Captain Cook.
The rain has made a lake in our garden.
I hope some swans land there.
I feel sorry for John Tracy,
All alone in Thunderbird 5.
Do the Tracys have rows like us?
Who cooks dinners?
Who irons their uniforms?
Jeff could marry Lady Penelope.
Then they’d all be happy.


The cherry blossom trees
Are happy young bridesmaids:
They lean together in the breeze,
Petals flying from their braids.

When I quietly eat my Frosties
Aware of my character flaws
I hear the magpies’ congratulations
And the frying pan’s applause.

by Alan Moore

The Poetry Book Society recently announced its fantastic T.S. Eliot Prize Tour, a ten-venue national tour to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the first T.S. Eliot Prize. The tour will visit Portsmouth on 17 September, then Winchester, Oldham, Halifax, Ludlow, Glasgow, Norwich, Liverpool, Durham, and finally Sheffield on 15 October. It includes a spectacular selection of the best poets writing today. Visit the PBS website for more details, and head to the venue nearest you this autumn!

‘Happy Days’ is copyright © Alan Moore, 2010. It is reprinted by permission of Anvil Press from How Now! (Anvil Press, 2010).

Notes from Anvil Press:

In How Now! Alan Moore treats themes of love, evil, and personal loss with gentle humour and tough seriousness. He evokes memories of Ireland in the sixties, seventies, and eighties, capturing flashes of awareness from childhood, youth and adult years with masterful description of emotion and settings.

This absorbing work is his second collection of poems, following Opia, a Poetry Book Society Choice in 1986, which was described by Ciaran Carty as ‘a virtuoso first collection’. You can read ‘Summer’, another poem from his latest collection, on Anvil’s site.

Alan Moore was born in 1960 in Dublin, Ireland, where he lives and works. A graduate in English and Philosophy of University College, Dublin, he worked in the Office of the Revenue Commissioners and in legal publishing before setting up his own tax consultancy business. He is a crime novelist, teacher, business adviser and the author of several professional books.

Anvil Press, founded in 1968, is based in Greenwich, south-east London, in a building off Royal Hill that has been used at various points in its 150-year history as a dance-hall and a printing works. Anvil grew out of a poetry magazine which Peter Jay ran as a student in Oxford and retains its small company ethos. Visit Anvil’s website here, where you can sign up to their mailing list to find out about new publications and events.

Copyright information: please note that the copyrights of all the poems displayed on the website and sent out on the mailing list are held by the respective authors, translators or estates, and no work should be reproduced without first gaining permission from the individual publishers.