Mizmor L'David Anthology 


Poetica Magazine
                                           Contemporary Jewish Writing

Richard Devereux is a poet who lives in Bristol, England. He is the author of Bill, a collection based on his grandfather’s experiences in Salonika in World War One. He is a retired lawyer who took to heart Socrates’ injunction to ‘question them’.

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Introduction to Socrates
Basle Railway Station 1969
Richard Devereux

A Homburg

a long black coat

shuffling along the platform

(in the early hours

we were changing trains)

the old man stopped

which is when I saw the violin

strapped to his back

in a battered case.

Are you in charge

of the school party?

No. I was sixteen.

Was he one of those

who missed the train

of no return

a war-time ago?

sure-footed then

with a new violin?

I wondered what

he must have seen

& might have known

but our train drew in.

Take care of yourself,

good men are few

he gripped my arm


on me

Never believe what they tell you.

Question them

like Socrates.