Henry Calmacott (part one)

Posted by ractrose on 2 Nov 2018 in Art, Poems

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



The Folly

Calmacott’s Brother





Henry Calmacott


Spirits have been called, the way lies open

Waves of interruption, raucous shouts and song

First one cry is heard and then a chorus

Comes again, while the host’s eye resting

on Henry Calmacott, observes a warning sign

Thus bright of voice, to the guest he notes

‘The Celts. How many, who can say?

May be that gang the Romans called the Dobunni.’

And adds with satisfaction: ‘Pagans. We’ve had the university men…’

‘Yes. Mr. Woolsaver and his colleague…forget the name.

Minor nobleman from Rennes.’

The host lifts a quieting hand.

Henry Calmacott thinks of

the illnesses had kept him from enlisting

As his brother Michael had, and something he is feeling

Reminds him of a basin jabbed beneath his chin

‘Too sick to be sick,’ some orderly had chuckled, as

he’d sunk again.

Now he feels too grieved to shed the tears

That he had seized his handkerchief to damp

But strangely bears a sorrowing sympathy

For Bernard Arthur, poor unhappy sod

‘Because, you know’—he speaks as though he’d spoken

‘Topped himself. That was ’23. In the greenhouse,

With his shotgun.’




Henry Calmacott

Charcoal and pastel drawing of puny man walking beside woman in 1920s dress

Henry Calmacott (part two)













(2017, Stephanie Foster)




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