Tag Archives: memory

Manuscript Found in an Antique Dresser

Words etched in time,

fade even as I gaze at them,

wondering who wrote them?

when were they written?

who were they written for?

and that final question that

even History cannot answer;

were the words ever read

by anyone before me?

or am I the first reader

and maybe the last?

shall I keep this manuscript’s secrets safe?

or should i betray them?

A Stranger Returns

” We meet again!”
the Stranger said,
the one I’d never met before,
sat alone at the pavement cafe
he asked me if I would
like to wallow in nostalgia with him;

I said I didn’t reminisce
much these days though I
occasionally enjoyed a fond memory;

Ordering an espresso,he spoke
of his parents and the War,
I interjected with academic achievements
and holidays abroad;

He said he couldn’t remember them,
though he was sure he’d seen me
once whilst in Amsterdam;
I said I’d never been and whoever
it was he saw it wasn’t me;

Finishing his coffee the Stranger got up
and turning to me said,
there was only one other time he was sure
that he’d seen me,
curious,I asked him when?

In the bathroom mirror
that time I hesitated
with the cut-throat razor
and fear in my eyes..

Author’s footnote :-

The reader may also wish to read my preceding work on this subject, ” Encounter with a Stranger “.

A Brief History of Britain

Faded, forlorn

the banners of our memories

once held high now cast aside,

cast down,

trodden into the dust

by legions of those

who came after in ignorance;

Even the ghosts have departed

this empty husk

of a once was Power

this paralysed parody

of those Sceptered Isles,

that seat of Mars crumbled

overwhelmed by the deluge

that took from our hearts

those Heroes whose deeds

validated all that we stood for;

All that we ever believed in

is now counted as the small-change

amongst market traders

whom we let barter our very souls

for a mess of pottage ;

Whilst entombed in our sonorous sloth ,

they took from us all that had once been

vouchedsafe by Viking ,Saxon ,Norman

for so long so very long an Age;

In our belated awakening

we find ourselves naked,

caught in the glare of a history

which no longer recognises

nor has need of us

in this our unkempt beggarly state,

of which those who once fought for us

would be ashamed

that all their sacrifice

all their pain

had yielded such a paltry gain.


Lemonade on the verandah after supper,
discussing Rousseau and Voltaire
before retiring to the soft embrace
of an easy langour;

Expecting tomorrow and its harvest
of promise,the lush savannah
the tall sheaves and sturdy horses,
and yet that tomorrow never came;

No matter how much we believed
and what we believed was enough,
but what they believed was much more,
we recall with wounding monotony
those men of honour
whose sabres broke too soon,
those chivalric figures whose
steeds wearied in the long campaign;

We recall those shards of splendour smashed,
held captive in museum-cased aspic,
the haunting echo of a terpsichorean melody
vanished and gone into The Wilderness;

Mene mene tekel upharsin
those heirs of promise,
weighted in the balance
and found wanting;

The visions of Daniel,
the words of Ezekiel,
prophetic and predestined,

Lemonade on the verandah after supper,
discussing Rousseau and Voltaire
before awakening to
the dawn of a new day,
and grey.

Last Christmas ( 1961 )

Sepia hued

smoke-filled aroma

of spicy gingerbread,

pervasive odours

of holly,ivy

and mulled wines;

infusing kitchen,scullery

and dining room,

evoking a childhood

with their forgotten

boxed presents

under the enormous

seasonal bough,

its array of

waxen lights


long into memory

and myth;

the greetings

and the joy

in Alpine setting

of hearth

and ” Heimat ”


and ” Stillenacht “;

their longing

recalled by chance,

by stray snatch

of melody,


to an innocence lost,

to a card once


“frohe weihnachten,A.E.”


now in a place

where that birth happened

but no longer counts,



Adolf Eichmann.

(*Footnote:Notorious Nazi War criminal Adolf Eichmann was abducted by Israeli Mossad agents from Argentina and was put on trial on December 15 1961 in Israel)

Femme Fatale

She spoke with an accent I couldn’t identify,

her voice was a voice that came from another time,

or maybe that was the dress she wore,

and that dark perfume and the choker of pearls

as if she’d stepped out of a forties Noir movie;

Whatever her age she didn’t belong

to this year or even this century,

seeing her was like finding something

that had been lost for centuries then

restored to its rightful place,

she reminded me of a painting I’d seen

in the hush of a museum near closing time

with the spent awe hanging in the

gallery’s air like old dust;

I leaned toward her,

her perfume wrapped me

like a velvet cloak,

I watched immobilised almost as if

she’d struck me with a curare-tipped dart,

She smiled that half smile,

she turned and left,

her hair swinging against her naked back

as she walked away.




Silent schoolyards

empty apartment blocks,

deserted neighbourhoods

untrodden streets

robbed of their vibrancy;

A peerless shining sky

blue,golden and bright

canopies their absence of echo;

Deserted runways,

empty departure lounges,

silent concourses

where a solitary figure

remains standing


at destination boards

signless and unflickering,

his eyes engulfed

in their amnesia.

Broken..( Rebooted 19 /5/2018 as Broken Memories )

The Chanteuse,
crooning dystopian
torchlit ennui,marinaded
in absinthed vocals,
in the salons
and bars of the,
fashionable Left Bank,
domicile to flaneurs
& their bohemian confreres;
wounding their hearts with
visceral monotonous langour,
amid pyres of smouldering
stygian-leafed frissons
of earthy odours,
redolent of arcane
manual labour,