Robin Hyde


     (Is that the word?)

Ronald Holloway gives me this
diary at the Unicorn Press,
offers beer. But
Robert Lowry is churlish
sullen and inhospitable
the Atlantic waves breaking
over his sullen Irish coast,
Jerseys and men with
stumpy legs and dogs with
stumpy tails, looking for
casks of rum after
   the shipwreck. But
        finding it not.
Brings me back to the beer;
Ronald seeks it, I do sit in
the sun, on a broad-based
   rock of
Volcanic origin. But
Imperturbable nature. Hard by
an ivy geranium, complete
Pink stare and baby snail,
       There dream, watched by
Loafers, dogs with scabby
tails, sparrows, shiny car-
surfaces, hot-baked bricks
      Loaves crusty from
The giant’s oven,
The Police who know no
            Better. Till
Ronald arrives with the
      beer and,
under the disapproving
    eye of Robert, we
Drink it out of a jug
Which has held nasturtiums,
velvet nasturtiums, cinnamon,
      orange flowers, flowers
absorbent of too
         much sunshine, too
great a lucidity and
grasp of
          the sun’s big idea,
     marked a comprehension
     what it is all about, too
     little tolerance
groundlings, nidderings; star-
    squibs, the
trite and the obscure, the
       Rueful ones left out
Colour was handed round.
     the earthenware influenced
     by these masterful
                 Flower-dragoons, I
Drink beer without visible
   effect, but
          not without comfort;
return to sitting on the
   stone in
       the sunshine,
a lizard but not so
Salve regina, that is to say
nasturtium: salve
             Imperator, the
beer. Save all of us
Politicians: and Robert.



Author’s Note


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