Bordeaux Bay

Bordeaux Bay
Watercolour by Tony Taylor http://www.paintingbreaksguernsey.com

Thursday, 17 November 2016

HOT PURSUIT

This poem is not dissimilar to one that I wrote years ago entitled The Cottage which, in turn, bore similarities to a much-loved poem from my schooldays, The Listeners, by Walter de la Mare.
In common with both of these earlier poems The House Of The Famous Poet addresses a pilgrimage and a quest unfulfilled.
 
Photo by Jane Fleming

























HOUSE OF THE FAMOUS POET

Listen to the caged bird sing: 

such fine notes, yet oh so sad.
 

A finch’s soft throat spills,
like cut-flower blooms,
grace notes
in a narrow street,
where midday sun bleaches hung washing.


Old women’s pachydermal faces stare,
black-shawled, from beaded doorways.
Cats sleep in corners, tails like question marks.
Switchblade-quick,
a lizard darts into a crevice
as sandalled feet trudge
uphill
towards a white citadel.

His house stands nearby,
one among many,
its green door in need of painting,
a lion’s-head knocker,
tawny with rust.

I raise the iron ring,
rap twice
then wait and rap again.


The street is empty
but I feel observed.
Eyes watch beyond the beaded doors.

No one lives there

a voice calls out,
then silence gathers like fallen leaves.

I turn, retrace my steps.


Inside my head
a trapped bird
sings.

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