Lines to a young lawyer

At twenty and with no real financial prospectives

Or substantial achievements, it would be absurd

Of me to offer you a laundry list of life lessons

 

But take these two pieces:

 

– buy a two family house in a majority Spanish neighbourhood

– tell him you love him

 

 

To Hugo at Bathtime

Take the bar of soap she offers

At its rounded ends

And run your fingernail across

To peel off a silver, like a bitten fingernail

Or a silver crescent moon

 

Hold it up to the window one bathtime soon

To block out the moon,

Leaving the sky immense and empty

Apart from your soap-silver moon

 

Which you must surround with the suds-studded sounds

Of splashing and smacked tummies

In a jovial hullabaloo

 

Hold it up one bathtime soon to block out the moon,

So it can clean

 

Your fingertips, the moon, and all things in between.

 

 

400

Now in my dreams, there are

Two separate square gardens,

With two separate gates which

Do no lock and so are always

Slightly ajar, and two separate

Pairs of hundred-eyed peacocks,

Four in all, with four-hundred eyes,

And two separate wooden benches

With individual dedications to the

Same professor of mathematics

Whose name I don’t recognise,

And two separate strings of rain-

Soaked lilac vines dripping separately

Onto two separate now wet casements

 

So that we could sit

In the same place but alone

To ourselves to have this conversation,

Maybe over the phone?

Yes, and no have to deal with

Saying so and so.

“Leave you, to go the road we all must go.

The road I would choose,

If only I could, is the other” Lady Murasaki

Wrote that. Things must have been grim.

 

 

Secret Messages in the Key of G

A girl sitting in my lecture is so

Perfect. I would ask her to marry me,

 

But what hope is there at all for someone

Whose reputation as a horse thief

Is not so much well-proven as widespread

Throughout coastal Australia and most

Metropolitan centres of France &

Norway.

 

 

Words and art by Harry Peter Sanderson.

These poems first appeared in print volume 88 edition 3 SOAP.