Saturday, June 23, 2012

Hurrah I can write poetry on my blog again! Always thought the Salutation Hotel viewed from across the bridge looks, if you;re drunk enough, like Venice. The brilliant Chrissie Fergusson, as you can see below, agreed.

The Balcony of the Salutation Hotel

There’s a balcony in Dumfries,
between cypresses,
above the black wall of river,
and when the sun’s hung above it,
no doubt at all it’s Venice,
and from Venice isn’t it just a step,
when the light falls on water
like shining pieces of a mirror,
to happiness?
It’s nothing like Venice, you say,
when you’re up there it’s freezing
and unsafe,
but so is dreaming
and there are rats,
rats too, in Venice and in dreaming.
The thing is, you’re thinking
of the Venice in that lagoon,
at the top of the Adriatic,
not the one in my brain where,
lit by electrical impulses
like the Lido at night from Sant‘ Elena,
we will have love and poetry all year long.
Hot on the heels of the celebration of St Iredna who was sucked to death by snails, last week saw the anniversary of the death of Henry V111's Poet Laureate Skelton, whose most moving work was a poem addressed to his sparrow Philip after it had eaten by a cat.

I played with him, tittle-tattle,
And fed him with my spattle,
With his bill between my lips,
It was my pretty Phips.
Many a pretty kusse
Had I off his sweet musse.
And now the cause is thus,
That he is slain me fro,
To my great pain and woe.'

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Thought it would be hard to escape Jubilee madness but forgot for a moment I lived in Scotland where many of us think plastering the house with Union Flags an affront to taste, delicacy and Scottish nationality. I see out of 9,500 street parties in the UK only 60 were in Scotland, and 20 of them were organised by the Orange Order.
Had the BBC on for a few minutes last night and heard the Archbishop of Canterbury describing Elizabeth as an English monarch which about sums it up for me.