Arthur: Calmacott’s Brother (part five)

Posted by ractrose on 31 Oct 2018 in Art, Poems

Charcoal drawing of small statured man in Edwardian suit



The Folly

Calmacott’s Brother







They do not often wish to hear, the ordinary man’s

Tale, though I suffer

Though I share…Henry Calmacott, is it?

Sir, with one or two well-padded aldermen

The company of the heathen damned

Came to that harsh resolve much sooner than I’d guessed

Would cross the street…it was no joke. To let me know it

That I was judged, condemned. The farmer’s union

Held their meetings in my absence

‘Ah, Arthur, was your name missed?

Too bad, I call that.’

And his eye said, Murderer.

How deep I’d gone in debt

That patch I’d sown in oats one year

That never paid…no, nor even would extend me honour

That I, for one, had never overcharged the army


Burnt one after another, and I don’t know how

She could have been so clever

I doubt her having confederates—

That friendlessness, and that she’d clenched her fist

Around my secret…was what I’d seen in Bessie,

if you’d like to know

The ’ricks all set afire

Mine and my neighbours’, to the north and south

Dismissed by the chief constable as vandals’ pranks

A year after the girl had turned a proper sixteen

Stewart allowed it, and I married her

Do you know, I found I couldn’t bear

to have her in my bed




Pastel drawing of youth in cap, tie, and sweater vest

Henry Calmacott (part one)













(2017, Stephanie Foster)




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