'Home from Home'cycle and Diverse Poems
Old Schweitzer Villa
(Application for a Mortgage)
is the residence where once
guests long departed bantered back and forth
replenishing glasses with a light aperitif
while phonograph sounded on summer lawns
'She is the lady pom of my heart's desiring pom'
Bone china tinkled from within
while high tea was laid on linen cloths
with cut-glass tumblers glittering
and for those who cared to see
reflecting, reflecting every scene
back into deep eternity.
From the rose bower where fluttered lace and words
the passing steamer five-fifteen washed the smooth rocks.
Attentive eyes sought out
awaited weekend newcomers
on the ladies sunshade deck.
Youths in striped attire beside the sundial bench
illicit passions ill-concealed behind their stiff fašades
craning for a glance or two
through lilacs and sweet jasmine
at the ladies' private bathing hour.
crickets and the quiet moon
the verandah door that creaks,
in solitude and the zephyred night
I stroked the Martin's strings
- the candle shed its spheres -
and silvered notes dazzled down
seeped through the shimmering maple,
across the bank of blooms
slaking thirst and reviving scent...
my song for no reason, to no other ear.
our wooden haven where insects flock
toward the light within
settled, waiting, on the netting.
Huge and tiny moths, goldeneyes
and more... a mottled mass of life.
This must be the place.
Oldtime Country Cottage Mood
(With regretful respects to the memory of T.S.E.)
boiler range, kettle coughing at the windowsill cat
which throws thick yellow glances back
and we're whiling away our lives
as the thyme and the marjoram spread.
We let in the dog and brew another pot
Are we in Little Ebbing or Thanknought-on-the-Lea?
Nevertheless known to us the fact
that we are past the stream of things.
Why! Time here is so slow you'd never know
it was on at all... but for the clicking
that now and then draughts in
from the dark oak hall.
Gaunt arms of octogenarian trees
ripple beyond the window panes
as I rock my chair to a chestnut tune
feet on the fender so that one thought
leads to another.
"Say, Cis, it's Mr. Eliot's birthday"
Uncleaned horse brasses adorn the chimneypiece
"Time to stoke up, Cis"
Then we take a stroll
purposelessly about the green
the rooks have left their vicarage roosts
"What of it Cis?" The cold pink sky
bathes us in orange glow
and silhouettes our retiring obsolescence.
Yawn, yawn, yawn.
--------------------- Diverse -----------------
A Saharan Master Musician
and blood red carpets
spread before an awning
alluding to his desert home
the muse of
brings fresh oasis air
Holding his Air France labelled drum
his mouth full veiled
from thieving eyes that pry
his secret voice resounds
from spaceless sands
with love songs startling
that inflect the sound into itself,
weaves many notes to one.
On Seeing 'Chaplin'
(Richard Attenborough's film)
to the dull industrial block,
where in youth I packed weeklies for a pittance,
the new, domed 'Kolosseum', risen from its ashes.
is showing 'Chaplin' .
A grey-haired man looks back on days of gaiety... and pain.
Even the dead-as-ever streets of Majorstua
add to my sense of sympathy with everyone
that Chaplin' life intensified in us.
Where is that shrewd zest before which fled harrowing scene...
What were those flying times, nostalgia on fading screens?
Our tragi-comic flight from insecure beginnings
searching out homes where there are but myths.
Never too soon to don the moustache, twirl the cane and turn,
look back at loss, and shrug.
Awkward Customer At The Photo Shop
madam, one could say
we deal in light...
in a small way.
we've nothing in that line
we just collect the beams
from faces of your kin
your children on their hols
whereupon we fix it well
on matt or glossy
times temporarily eternalised
for you to treasure, measure
through all your dying days.
Good day. Next please.