Taj Mahal Built to commemorate a love that died Four hundred years ago, how sad to say She never saw what we can see today. Serenely does its massive bulk preside Above a seeming swamp on every side, The damp is almost palpable, the grey Sky vaunts its marble whiteness; see the way Each precious stone belies what lies inside. No whited sepulchre, nor even all The labours of some twenty thousand men Could find what once lay in this marbled hall, Two mortals none can see in life again: No artifice or art could ever save These noble corpses rotting in their grave. Delusions on a Manchester Tram While on the tram last Saturday a man Gave up his seat for me. Though in a huff, I made my mumbled thanks polite enough, Until his patronising act began To fan such flames as only foul rage can. I pondered wording for a rude rebuff, For I was tough and gruff and sleeping rough And he but half my age and half my span. But no, he didn’t pity me my age. He stood and worshipped me as saint and sage, Could see with awe in me what others saw: A slab of alabaster without flaw Transformed with stoic rigour over time To this heroic figure in his prime. Peter Hartley is a retired painting restorer. He was born in Liverpool and lives in Manchester, UK.