Let Them Go: Ninth Calmacott

Posted by ractrose on 9 Nov 2018 in Art, Poems

Charcoal and pastel drawing of woman wearing clothing from ancient Britain



The Folly

Calmacott’s Brother





Let Them Go


‘How does your mother do?’

Henry’s mind’s eye flashes him a slender shaft

Of sun, a halo of blue sky, some other sense raises

with a vividness that flicks him on the raw

A smell of pipe tobacco and horse stall

Old Atkins, retired from the force, still calls

‘Of course, I can’t be easy, altogether… Barnstow’s story

was at the time, hardly satisfactory.’

Why this?

Why smoke and autumn leaves,

Numb toes inside his sodden boots and the touch

of his brother’s hand?

‘It’s no use hanging on to things, is it?’

‘No, Michael…no, it’s not. You ask…how’s our mum? She’s well.

I’ll tell her you’re the same.’

Henry lifts his head, so wrenched at length

He wipes his face dry with a vulgar sleeve

The guest, in wilful ignorance

Watches only the host

Who, using a paper knife, is prying marbles free

‘I have a steelhead mallet.’ This, he lifts to show.

‘Will you do the honours,

Henry Calmacott?’

Shuffling to the fire he sees…here are three—

Gaily coloured, red and blue

One, yellow

Lodged in crevices of stone, before the hearth

‘And if I smash them, sir, that ends their prisonment on earth?’




Let Them Go
Charcoal and pastel drawing of Wake trying on woman's hat and jacket

The Regent’s Bastard’s Grandson












(2017, Stephanie Foster)




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