In a Castle

The Book of Hours of Sister Clotilde

The Exeter Road

The Shadow

The Forsaken

Late September

The Pike

The Blue Scarf

White and Green



A Lady

In a Garden

A Tulip Garden

Sword Blades And Poppy Seed

A drifting, April, twilight sky,

A wind which blew the puddles dry,

And slapped the river into waves

That ran and hid among the staves

Of an old wharf. A watery light

Touched bleak the granite bridge, and white

Without the slightest tinge of gold,

The city shivered in the cold.

All day my thoughts had lain as dead,

Unborn and bursting in my head.

From time to time I wrote a word

Which lines and circles overscored.

My table seemed a graveyard, full

Of coffins waiting burial.

I seized these vile abortions, tore

Them into jagged bits, and swore

To be the dupe of hope no more.

Into the evening straight I went,

Starved of a day's accomplishment.

Unnoticing, I wandered where

The city gave a space for air,

And on the bridge's parapet

I leant, while pallidly there set

A dim, discouraged, worn-out sun.

Behind me, where the tramways run,

Blossomed bright lights, I turned to leave,

When someone plucked me by the sleeve.

"Your pardon, Sir, but I should be

Most grateful could you lend to me

A carfare, I have lost my purse."

The voice was clear, concise, and terse.

I turned and met the quiet gaze

Of strange eyes flashing through the haze.

The man was old and slightly bent,

Under his cloak some instrument

Disarranged its stately line,

He rested on his cane a fine

And nervous hand, an almandine

Smouldered with dull-red flames, sanguine

It burned in twisted gold, upon

His finger. Like some Spanish don,

Conferring favours even when

Asking an alms, he bowed again

And waited. But my pockets proved

Empty, in vain I poked and shoved,

No hidden penny lurking there

Greeted my search. "Sir, I declare

I have no money, pray forgive,

But let me take you where you live."

And so we plodded through the mire

Where street lamps cast a wavering fire.

I took no note of where we went,

His talk became the element

Wherein my being swam, content.

It flashed like rapiers in the night

Lit by uncertain candle-light,

When on some moon-forsaken sward

A quarrel dies upon a sword.

It hacked and carved like a cutlass blade,

And the noise in the air the broad words made

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