Apropos of nothing in particular, one of my favourite poems:
(or The Role of the Poet as Entertainer)
by Roger McGough
During dinner the table caught fire.
No one alluded to the fact
and we ate on, regardless of
the flames singeing our conversation.
Unaware of the smoke
and the butlers swooning,
topics ranged from Auden
to Zefferelli. I was losing
concentration however, and being
short on etiquette, became tense
and began to fidget with the melting cutlery.
I was fashioning a spoon
into a question mark
when the Chablis began to steam
and bubble. I stood up,
mumbled something about having left the gas running
and fled blushing
across the plush terrain of the carpet.
The tut-tut-tutting could be heard above
the cra-cra-cracking of the bone china.
Outside, I caught a cab
to the nearest bus stop.
While, back at the table,
they were toying with blazing fruit
and discussing the Role of the Poet as Entertainer,
when the roof fell in.
(poem from Holiday on Death Row by Roger McGough (Jonathan Cape, 1979).
All of my posts for March will finish with this note. While life goes on as usual outside Christchurch, let our thoughts be with those who are coping with the aftermath, with the sorrow of so many who were lost, and with the challenges ahead.