Tuesday, January 24, 2006



You’ve drawn a character
in whose terse style resides
a goodness just beyond
the reach of words
for an actor whose
metal can stand
the scrutiny of white dawns
through blackout curtains
in a time of Blitz
of prolonged war
& temporary respite
in love’s uncertain arms;
taking us back to daily stress
false leads and true alarms.

And as for this man’s passion
all too clearly fate
has bottled up its streams
kept it pure –
love for a son, self discipline
and more
keep him at work for days
and nights worth fighting for -
his name, an epee, rings like steel to sting
whoever’s crossed his calm clarity
others might mistake for duty,
his namesake is a building familiar to
the users of a round patch of lamp
on the page of a book bought
in the Charring Cross Road:
browsers of shelves
in life’s reflective mirror –

it too – that dusty-dreaming place - hard only in defence of liberty.
His England is where the sky slopes
and the land billows in the still morning air,
the sound of a plane or a car in the distance
or a blackbird who sits on a fence and sings, as no-one else has.