Tonight at Noon

A Poem by Adrian Henri



Tonight at noon
Supermarkets will advertise 3p extra on everything
Tonight at noon
Children from happy families will be sent to live in a home
Elephants will tell each other human jokes
America will declare peace on Russia
World War I generals will sell poppies on the street on November 11th
The first daffodils of autumn will appear
When the leaves fall upwards to the trees

Tonight at noon
Pigeons will hunt cats through city backyards
Hitler will tell us to fight on the beaches and on the landing fields
A tunnel full of water will be built under Liverpool
Pigs will be sighted flying in formation over Woolton
And Nelson will not only get his eye back but his arm as well
White Americans will demonstrate for equal rights
In front of the Black house
And the monster has just created Dr. Frankenstein

Girls in bikinis are moonbathing
Folksongs are being sung by real folk
Art galleries are closed to people over 21
Poets get their poems in the Top 20
There's jobs for everybody and nobody wants them
In back alleys everywhere teenage lovers are kissing in broad daylight
In forgotten graveyards everywhere the dead will quietly bury the living
You will tell me you love me
Tonight at noon


       Adrian Henri [1932-2000] was born in Birkenhead, near the port of Liverpool, northwestern England, and studied for a B.A. in Fine Arts at the University of Durham. In 1967 he formed the poetry/rock group Liverpool Scene. He has exhibited paintings both nationally and internationally and has written over 25 books. Henri was one of the Merseybeat poets who emerged from the Liverpool Bohemian scene in the 1960s, the same cultural environment that had produced the Beatles. To him, poetry "had to have a surface meaning;" "it had to mean something immediately." Mersey Sound, a poetry anthology featuring Henri, Roger McGough and Brian Patten was published in 1967. It became an immediate sensation, selling hundreds of thousands of copies and being included in school curricula, thus forging Henri's influence in literature and poetry circles all over the English-spoken world. Adrian Henri died on Wednesday, December 20, 2000.

         Published under the provision of U.S. Code, Title 17, section 107.



Published December 25, 2000
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