Calmacott’s Brother (part one)

Posted by ractrose on 19 Oct 2018 in Art, Poems

Charcoal and pastel drawing of thin soldier in cap



The Folly

Calmacott’s Brother





Calmacott’s Brother (part one)


Maybe we were not fit

Not fit to live nor fit to die

A sower’s superfluity made as the parable’s seed

An abortion or a sturdy weed…howsoever Heaven wills it

Struck wherever we might fall

So the waters close

To see you slumped there in your seat

Grown peevish in your temper

Grown thinning at the temples

I think we must have been a pair

of caricatures in the cartoon’s waiting chair

Unmarried brothers

And aren’t they queer, those two

Need dusting like the furniture

Remember though

A ringleader… Henry, me!

Yes, a ring, a token, a magic lamp to light the way

So you would see clear

They only execute the ringleaders

Then how does a man of imagination

Find himself fingered

Smile at this, the hay fork that ran me through

Was destined, when they sent me home

I was the one who knew


Remember us as lads

The flooded shaft, the pithead sealed up

Where gypsies, so was always said

Took shelter by a secret way they’d made themselves

We never found it in our play

Well, it was the last month of the war

All of us out of doors for a bonfire

That you must recall as well, as you’d come down


I shook your hand…and so we parted

It wasn’t like us to embrace





Pencil and charcoal drawing of Edwardian chap

Calmacott’s Brother (part two)










(2017, Stephanie Foster)




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