Sunday, 30 July 2017

Portrait of Andi at 16 - St George's Uniform

A flag fluttering in a soft breeze; fluttering, hesitating; hesitating, fluttering again.

The wind is a machine, we will insist upon this fact. For we are free to imagine the hands of a clock; two sun soaked legs making this easy for us. Tick. It is twenty five past six. Tick. Tock. Tick. The skirt flutters, the arms move infinitesimally, time spreading like clouds… We are a sheet, made of cotton, and washed only yesterday, we are not… A white sky? I really do not know what you are talking about. The white sheet, obstinately insisting upon its rights, will be heard. Here is a literalist, an egoist and a bore. We send her to the back of the class. Unease following her through the room, whispers susurrate across the desks, until, with a hard look and a ferociously loud silence, we restore the old order. A window quietly rattles. And we return to the blackboard, with its half-finished drawing: a forlorn Father Time trampled into oblivion under the feet of a triumphant dragon…

A page turns over.

The book is comfortable on this girl’s lap. Here is God at the centre of his creation. A motor inside the mechanism. It is God’s word that moves this machine, the machine controlling the rhythm of his speech.

Thursday, 27 July 2017

Late Middle Age

You are clothing the future
In old suits, veteran waistcoats,
Those once expensive shirts.
They are rich in autumnal colours.
The trousers bright red,
Your tie the exquisite yellow
Of ripe leaves…

A ready-made architecture,
Designed to withstand
The inclement weather
Of your long winter years.
A Palladian house
New as the day it was built,
Centuries out of date…

Saturday, 15 July 2017

Clean It Up!

R.W. Johnson is rude and coarse. Leslie Stephen is charming, tolerant and generous, but even he is a little, a teensy-weeny bit, unkind. Few intellectuals like the liberals. The reason is an old and simple one: the professional’s irritation at the amateur who will insist on bumbling into their workshop and telling them how it should be done.

Sunday, 2 July 2017

A Spat

We blame Henry. Inviting us to join him in this fog-filled park he walks too quickly; is getting too far ahead, skipping along with his little lantern we surmised was our servant. We stumble behind, on a feeble path of light, hardly seeing our own footsteps; thoughts tripping over sentences, our ideas zigzag amongst the wild beds, and are lost in this park’s overgrown prose. Hallo! I’m so sorry. Pushing aside the branches of a bush I bump into a pretty woman, who looks worried, fragile… I am lost. Can you help me? She wants, she says, to get out of this park, this fog, this man’s entangling paragraphs. I shake my head; shout out: Henry! Henry Green!