Friday, 14 October 2011

furniture, clowns, kennington, invisible, pinter, poem

Well, today was the day we visited the warehouse where the family furniture was stored (see post of 6th September 2011).

This was the strangest of days because I had not seen these things since January 1978. Another life away.

I have to say that the experience was made bearable because of the kindness of the three people who were there to help.

I cannot describe what it was like to see all those things--in containers stretching as far as the eye could see, almost--that I grew up with and that I had been told were in store for just six months.

However, as I wrote a month or so ago, I am now starting the rest of my life. In the short term, I am looking forward to the Kennington Literary Festival tomorrow and reading from Invisible.

I would now like to add a poem. This week, when I was thinking about what was going to happen today, I thought back to what I was doing around the time that the furniture went into storage in 1978. I remembered a poem I'd written in my last year at Stowe that got published in the school magazine. I tried finding the poem in the online database of the school magazine but the site was down for maintenance. Oddly, though, a copy of the magazine with the poem in was on the top of a teachest when we were looking through the containers today. It was only thing I was allowed to take away today and I've scanned it for this post. I remember, in 1977, being chuffed, not because of the poem itself, but because it was the first time that the word 'shit' had been published in the school magazine. The word appeared in a quote from Harold Pinter's diaries--how could the school authorities refuse? (Kids, eh?) I should also say the poem was a love poem. (I didn't get the girl.)

Here's the poem. (The photo above btw was taken on my bike ride this morning.)

Le Monde et La Fille

Undulating waves of emerald green
Flow beneath me, Tiber bound.
From an amber dolphin fountain-made
Glistening pearls ascend the purple sky.
As dusk envelopes beauty
A crouching temple I approach.
Up wide mosaic steps I glide
Through oak portals to the heart.
Central stands an incense pyre
Whose every golden tongue is echoed
By shadows dancing on white marble.
From the labours of Hercules
Sculpted parapet on high
My eye descends a rainbow of design.
In a corner a heap of books,
Knowledge and experience:

"Expende Hannibalem: quot libras in duce summo invenies?"

Dear Diary: in the city,
Filth and degeneration,
Grey paper-strewn streets,
Dried-up fountains of concrete
"rubbish shit scratch dung poison".

Le monde, Le monde,
My paragon unchanged by time
Je t'aime beaucoup.

Carpe diem.

[23.01.12 and 03.02.12: In the light of recent sad events I have decided to rewrite parts of the above post. I have kept a copy of the original.]

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