Tuesday, 16 July 2013

The Garden Party (Rochester LitFest, 14th July 2013)

Midday
Too hot really
To be walking now
The kind of heat
That blisters the pavement
And sticks it
Oozing
To your feet

Coins for the car park
I forgot the suntan lotion
Hat and flip flops
But remembered
Coins for the car park

I must be mad
Mad dogs and Englishmen
It is too hot but I won't be late
I can add garden parties to that list
As roses pave the way
To the Good Intent
And, at the corner, I find the open gate

Bunting bedecked and sunlit stage
The square back yard
Now filling with expectant faces
An audience eager for a performance
Slogan t-shirts, parasols
Great big boots and bare feet
Cold drinks, crisps and finding spaces

Overhead
One lone skylark
Bisects the sky
Invisible geometry
To the eye

And they transport us now
To their other worlds
These poets and storytellers
These song singers
And vibrant voices
With didgeridoo and tambourine
With rhyme and prose
Transforming the air
Into the gilded sunspun
Dreamscape places
An alchemy wrought of words

Two planes interrupt with their lazy, drawling engines

Inside the bar the cool interior
Is a tonic to the heat
And here too
Is music
And here too are people to meet
And all too soon
It's four o'clock

And I have stayed too long
In the sun
Coins for the car park
Counting down
The day
I forgot the suntan lotion
Hat and flip flops for
The garden party


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