Bordeaux Bay

Bordeaux Bay
Bordeaux Bay by Guernsey-based artist Tony Taylor

Wednesday, 23 March 2016


Most writers that I know agree that there are days when the challenge of writing can be a nightmare. 
It’s even been said that those who find the process of writing easy are not proper writers. A debatable point.
This poem wasn’t a nightmare to write but it was written about a nightmare. 

What happened in that strange world inside the mirror? 
I’ll never know. 
I woke up shaking.


A shaft of moonlight, like a spear,
falls sharply through a curtain gap
to pierce a brightly-furnished room
whose jigsaw shapes, so like a map,
fit some erotic hemisphere
where women pause and then resume
their talk of arcane alphabets
and T S Eliot’s Quartets.

See how the ornate chandelier 
spills gold upon a host of hats   
as crystal glasses sing like shells,  
and waiters flicker like white bats 
through a flamboyant atmosphere  
of ever-rising decibels.
The women, shaped like violins,
have anguished eyes and flawless skins

and intuition that ensures
                      a comprehension of the arts,                      
where images are rarely true
and falsehood lives in poets’ hearts.
Pearl necklaces, like ligatures,
hang on their milk-white necks askew
while simile and metaphor,
their analytic minds explore.

Admire the opalescent rings
on fingers, fanged with scarlet nails,
that raise, as heedlessly as air,
exotic glasses of cocktails
while an intense soprano sings
an aria of sweet despair.
An ornate mirror’s icy gaze
alternately reflects, portrays

the brittle women’s sculpted hair,
their worldly, weary, bitter smiles
and watchful eyes that never rest.
Those cool and elegant profiles
are swallowed by the hungry mirror
wherein their likenesses, compressed
into one writhing, fleshy mass,
are sucked into its vortex glass.  

Voraciously, the mirror’s maw
devours them, everyone and all,
till only empty chairs are left
to populate the banquet hall.
Deep in glass depths, they cower in awe
and languish, suddenly bereft
of self or ego. There they dwell
in not-quite-Heaven, not-quite-Hell.


  1. Love this piece, how it creates and plays with images in my minds eye especially the last cuplet of the second verse.

  2. Richard Fleming26 March 2016 at 16:55

    Thanks, Julian. It was an interesting one to write especially with the rhyme pattern built in. R.