Tuesday, July 02, 2013

for Claude Sheppard

Burnt Journal 1924

for my father at 89; 2nd July

The city builds into sky, annexing uncharted
Everests. You hold the aerial photograph,
simplifying by geometry, distance, like Empire itself,
its Exhibition. Scots pipers grumble their way to Tut’s Tomb.

A moment frozen in butter! The sculpted disaster
of Jack Hobbs bowled out! Hungry kids lick his creamy pads,
dreaming of tiptoeing across Margate sands for their annual.
The nose of the bike’s side-car (hold on to your bonnet

Doris!) is an aeroplane of the motoring roads,
its spinning white-walls the prayer-wheels of modernity.
Hot-breathed from Colman’s, Imperialists funnel

the rustling throng into atmosphere for a Saturday night
broadcast from His Master’s Voice exhibit,
a dining room dominated by its cenotaph of sound.

Robert Sheppard