"Canadian poet Evan Jones has lived in Manchester since 2005. He is the author of Paralogues (Carcanet, 2012) and was co-editor of the anthology, Modern Canadian Poetry (Carcanet, 2010)."
Cavafy in Liverpool, by Evan Jones
Here is your sad young man:
he is ship-to-shore, he is buttoned-down
in tweed and scarved, eyes closed
when the Mersey wind
calls his collar to his ear
on the strand near Albert Dock,
some January, some winter day
we recognise but take no part in.
Here is your boy at the end of the shore
while the waters continue
touching place and nothing,
hold something dear and don't,
the desire and devotion
to an island he never dreams.
Not summoned, not answered,
he searches the world growing dim
as the river swells and recedes,
like closed eyelids shifting during sleep.
One less wave, he thinks, one less,
and then the Persians can get through.
(from Paralogues, Carcanet)