“These mood swings will be the death of me!”
Said the old poet to no one in particular.
His white hands shook, as he slurped his tea,
stiff kneeling, by the bars of a small electric fire,
Giving out its poor offering of barely warm.
Hampstead threw its leafy charms over the heads of tramps and artisans,
While an old dog, tied to an ornate lamp post,
Howled for its master, drunk in some doorway.
“I’ve poured out my soul to an uncaring nation!”
Now he flounces and flings his notebook to the floor.
His wine stained cravat, his pock-marked face,
His too full lips glistening with raged spit.
Early evening promises, electric before the storm;
And two lovers arm in arm, step into a doorway,
To satisfy the need for a longed for kiss.
An old lady’s bicycle, free wheels hill downwards,
While grim fixed to handlebars, she squeals at such speed.
“These purple phrases reflect nothing of me!”
His room is book cluttered, dust filled and faded;
He wears his anonymity like a tropical disease.
His meager night victuals, stale air and organic oranges.
Hampstead is night green, as grey is becoming black.
The lake is softly rippling and whispering its night thoughts;
And village life is dampened to a comforting hum.
“Art the only option, for someone so tortured!”
Curled up with his paper and ink pen he sighs,
Distractedly strokes the kitten he’s nurtured,
Timid and cringing, the runt of the litter.
Later the old poet,
Quietly closing the door of his garret,
Strides purposefully focused, all others unnoticed;
He makes for the Heath and the hope of encounter,
With anyone tonight.