Dear Winston,

Your cigar never left

Your mouth,

So you lived on

Past ninety.

In fact, it is much in doubt

Whether the boys

Could have been

Brought back from Dunkirk

If your cigar had not constantly

Kindled your endeavour,

And inspired your work

In that darkest hour.



The young are full

Of health, working out

In sanitized gyms.

They prefer to die

From shootouts

On smokeless streets

And sundry smokeless cancers,

Or just from lazy, lonely brooding.

They refrain from




They are all conversing

About ailments—

Exchanging their doctor’s

Advice and prescription

Drugs, spending the day

in a cautious, middle-class way.

They cannot fathom why

They should be so ill,

Not smoking cigars.

Why, pursuing health,

They never recover

From a bad heart

And a bad liver.


Caving in to the times,

I have not had a cigar

Between my lips

For many a year.

But now in this Covid fever,

How I wish I had a patch

Of green in a backyard

Where, happy

In an afternoon wicker

Chair, legs up on a stool,

I could gather all the

Great thoughts

For human remedy

That only a cigar makes possible.


Or, ensconced in the loo,

Cigar in tow,

Redraw the thoughtless world

In a soulful puff or two.

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