Monday, August 01, 2005

Over Earl's Court 1969

Over Earl’s Court
A polluted haze
Passing for bluesky, as night
Fell and the Moon came up

Oddly small, like a tennis-
Ball in mid-lob –
Her neat bed sitting room
A chip of the old block, where

Someone has come to see
Her poems, take her for a drink.
Her man-friend’s gone
To a commune she is slow to join

Preferring her youth
Over a garden dreaming
From work’s free tiredness.

The night they landed on
The Moon she carries on
Her London night, a pub
Or two, strolling to discuss

With this self-confessed poet
Th’irrelevancy, the unMoonness
Of such a project; a man
In the pub next to them
They notice
Smiling blissfully down

Past his beer, more like
Into something deep
Inside the Earth or in them
The universe, knowing

The journey in at last.
It’s as if he’s come
From some cold place
To this warm interior.


Back in that ageless bed-sit
She took the small chair
He the bedspread low divan

Her sheaf of poems
Balanced on his lap, approving
And assessing, saying them
Good, not overpraising

Advising, “Work some more
And publish later….”
She knows her bed sitting room
Feminine, thick-carpeted, cool

Must one day come to be
A stage set, bare boards ‘n’ cobwebs
Where ghosts will dance

A last quadrille under
The architrave that disappears
To another floor – why

Doesn’t he dance her now?
Quick-step through the open window
Whisper, “Publish tonight”

And fall through space
With her to a landing no less real
Than Apollo’s? She wonders,

Sees them sprawled
In a crater in the garden
Dark foliage overhanging…

Her own slenderness
A soft reed unbroken,
Lodged in his memory …a kiss, then,

Wishing the commune well
Sensibly going some place
Down the carpeted stairs

The blue, polluted
Passing-for-night colour
As the Moon sets.