Monday, 23 August 2010


First part of a 4 part anti-epic. You shall be spared the others!

1. Deepbrook

Winter is the season
when the gales blast o'er the waves
to blow the darkly crested spray
into the howl of airshocked space
and all the waves fall down
down crash back to the world
and something drags the world back out
and rolls-it-up in undertow
and sends it running for the shore
beneath a banshee's wail

and so
we shall go to Deepbrook
and the voices of summer
by way of the Long Gael Road

to where a silken Hermes scarf
lies abandoned on a hall chair
and ice-cubes tumble from a tray
for aperitifs to the consomme´

whisky soda would be just fine
or failing that a stiff martini

on an evening of nervous glitter
and ample plates of grouse and neeps
and hemlines placed above the knees
in a candlelit room where women talk
and roses wither on the sideboards
where sadness looms with the buttered leeks
and chairbacks creak
when the hostess speaks
and the corners of her mouth turn down
and her forehead somehow sets in frown
and her wattled dewlap wags her pearls
and her gnarled arthritic hand unfurls
and points its crooked fingers
to the fleurs-de-lis on the crockery
(the escutcheon of the infantry)
and the flintlocks hanging on the walls
and the open window
where the cockatoo stirs

au courrant

for freshly back
from shuttlecocks
two handsome boys with golden locks
address the virginal
and the flageolet
by the trellis of espaliered rose
where javelin and
discus thrower pose
on concrete plinths on scented ledges
at the end of a path
between box hedges
and play passages from The Hunt Comes Home
for the prick-eared pinschers
on the manicured lawn
and the pretty young thing in her red chiffon hat
a delicate peach with
the bloom still on her
who stands before an escallonia archway
demurely fiddling
with a sprig of thyme


Miss Abigail Sandberg-Harper

blue chip child
of salvaged futures
hedged around
with promissory notes
grey market kickback
and old family stock
preferred & pivotal
who rides a chestnut hack
to hounds sidesaddle

she's just a normal mixed-up rich-kid


Castor and Pollux

the musical twins
circling Abigail's heavenly orbit
are another matter
and they are firmly out of bounds

to lay it straight on the line - they've got bad habits
like they're serious freebasing junkies
like they're completely wired to the moon
like they're permanently torched up
or if not they're out on the sleigh-ride
like in a word they're hooked
like if they're not cranking up
they're coasting down
like if they're not blasted
they're stoned
like if they're not skinning-up
they've been busted and boxed
like for those boys anything goes


Eye Openers




White Lady
and Zoom

anyone for a spliff? (Castor)

but Abigail's gone


nudis verbis

Lord Aubery pulls on his cigar
as he leans at the end of the bar
he's one of the board
at Proud Stout and Claude
and now he tells all and sundry
how Castor and Pollux were falsely arrested
and how the local constabulary
should have better things to do
than harass those two
innocent offspring of his
they shall be well represented
most stoutly defended
the truth shall come out -
they were framed

says My Lord

- an aside to the reader

the twins are OD and
on the mainline to heaven

- and so back to the party
where most of the guests
are now horribly flushed
and there's the echoing music and clang
of old plumbing
and grumbling
and belching
and groaning
and farting
and retching
it's a case of the cramps
to use the Deepbrook patois

beware the bacillus
in the beche-de-mer
the pathogenic cells
mutating in the coccus
stick with the legume!
was what I wanted to say
but it's already too late
unless that is... are
on chaise-longue reclined
with dreams of your hack
or waiting in line
with your harp for your fix

...for it's blissfully peaceful
in Cloudland.

Lord Aubery, devastated, made his quietus with a flintlock and was duly placed alongside his wayward offspring in the family tomb at Deepbrook. All the guests made full recoveries.



  1. I love the idea - it is a splendid one - and I think you have made a more than creditable start with the first one. Names are fascinating aren't they. Yesterday, up in lead mining country, some of the names were fascinating - Kill hope, crow hill, Ireshopeburn - they are poetry in themselves.

  2. Pat,
    Thanks for the encouragement. I'll never get to do an epic poem unless I do it on here in fullpublic glare, then I just have to do it or crawl away and admit defeat. If I did do it in private I'd almost certainly never get it done. I'd be too impatient and abandon it. It was something you said to me once about Briggflatts that prompted all this. Thanks.

  3. Like Weaver, I loved the idea. And it got better and better the further I read.

  4. Thanky you Dave. I hope I can keep going. It's the need to focus, that's the driver.

  5. Powerful painting here: "the howl of airshocked space ". Real passion.

  6. Argent, it's my passion, and also theirs, for my protagonists can be a passionate lot :)

  7. What a picture you painted in my mind with this extravaganza - entertainment on tap, it would seem...

  8. Glad you enjoyed my sideways look at the soft-focus world of Rosamunde Pilcher jinksy :)gwilym


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