Once Upon A time
At a favourite high altitude lake with one side wedged deep against a steep rock fault. A conceit poem about returning here after hearing of someone’s death earlier (1998), all encapsulated in real nature of perceptions contra haziness later, when memories. Pic: my own, is of the lake.
To be alone
I remember resting here, wondering
how could so many years have passed not
knowing, not feeling the impoverishment
Here, in self-exile, the scene hardly changes
Swells ripple over rock, birch leaves fall, grass
turns from green to gold; the boulder’s been
half-submerged, since, stone-age times
And you and me, far along curving platform
farthest possible from those slamming doors
trains departing too fast for eyes to focus
Illicit trysts! It would be way past teatime
before we dared take the Victoria express
to your mews flat in Chelsea; now linked, by
some arcane contiguity, to shameless dancing
at Le Macabre, to Temperance Seven jazz!
Soho was a hotspot for less innocent fun then
Funny how some thoughts flood in unbid. Perhaps
being from when you were most beautiful, and sinful
the lithe bohemian art teacher, yet undiscovered
that just those memories would be all I need
That, and this quality of enduring realness
merging ahead into impenetrable mist
I was totally absorbed by the world before me, took me back to youthful days, and vague memories of The Temperance Seven.
Yes, being transposed back to those earlier times awaken such familiar, common memories, hopefully warm ones, don’t they Sue; probably because of being in the bloom of youth? The Temperance Seven +1 as they were known was started by students and staff at Chelsea Art College, and carried on, at least in name, for more than 50 years. I think my first LP in 1958 was a first issue present. We used to dance mostly slow jive to their jazz! Thanks for your comment!