Bordeaux Bay

Bordeaux Bay
Bordeaux Bay by Guernsey-based artist Tony Taylor

Tuesday, 23 August 2016


My poem, Rope Trick, first appeared in Reach Magazine but, sadly, the published version contained a misprint which dealt it a death blow. 
Misprints in short stories can usually be overcome by context and an astute reader, but in a poem, where every word has a carefully selected role, one print error is enough to sink it. This then is the error-free version, the Director’s Cut, so to speak, written back when we discovered that our friends in 'the finance industry' really weren’t our friends at all.


Upward, upward, upward he goes
on the taut rope in dusty heat 
defying gravity, belief.
One rope end lies, sweat-oiled, coiled, neat,
on a soiled, cheesecloth handkerchief.
From his father’s pipe, music flows.

The other end climbs vertically,
upward and attached to nothing
and up that swaying ladder, there,
a small brown boy, with gold ear-ring,
shins, this red morning, while we stare
with breathless incredulity.

We western tourists: Brits, fat Yanks,
believe mostly in disbelief.
Dull cynicism is our way:
debunking magic is our brief.
It’s just a bloody trick! we say, 
who trust in pension plans and banks. 


The joint creator of the classic television series, Yes Minister, and its equally funny sequel, Yes Prime Minister, died earlier this week, aged 86.
Here’s a clip from one of my favourite episodes of Yes Prime Minister, which cleverly sums up the reading habits of the British people:-


  1. Hi Richard, it's all an illusion, I fear! The ending made me smile. Nice one. I forget to thnk you for the links you sent me the other week, very re-miss of me.

  2. Thanks, Julian.