Loire Valley Château, France
Chenonceau: selfies by the coach-load
at this château on the Cher.
Chef d’œuvre of hydroponic art,
like a house-plant extraordinaire
with its feet in running water,
it arches over tea-or-coffee talk,
its bloom of transportable culture
dropping aesthetic seeds of colloquy,
from the salons of the States
to the boudoirs of Belarus.
If I donned my doublet and hose, I could
bow and scrape five hundred years away –
after all, time’s only a layer of dust –
I’d make renaissance with the festive dead
bal-masqués for a whoring king,
were it not for the tourists in between.
At least, outside, my hawk can soar
and blur them out, or swoop to the hand
of Diane de Poitiers in her prime,
dangling her legs, on the car-park wall.