Older in Their Wisdom: German Spy (eleven)

Posted by ractrose on 14 Nov 2018 in Art, Poems

Ink drawing of miserable and mask-like faces



The Folly

The German Spy





Older in Their Wisdom


Hearing, Falco would have said, or if insightful, so might say, a million other Falcos… Would have said, he means to say, it’s odd…more than you’d think. More odd, good sirs, more altogether. Yes, point of fact, done and said, there were plenty went deaf…lucky ones, lucky in their way. Most of us were not. But yet, you and the cannon could come to terms. Same as you and your nerves. They might well be married to each other, like that, the roar, and after, the ache. You had to get to where you could ignore that shrew, either road. Lovely old mums at home, doing without their butter, donating the family silver, knitting socks for Tommy. And we, drinking corpse water, creeping lower than poor Yorick…no joke about that. No, three nights left lonely, in a shell pit with a severed head, likely your last confessor, waiting death. And a thing your boots had come to rest on, saving you from suffocation, feeling like a pair of legs. These were my brothers, older in their wisdom.


Speak, at least, as my Livingstone.

Tell me what I may presume.

I am not a weak man, I doubt the trump of doom could shake me now.


I think of my son unhappy

I hadn’t made him understand

He sits on the foot of his school bed, without a friend.

Bearing along. His Mum will keep her promise.

By God, she will.

You are not a blood relative.

But go to see him, tell him, he’s to live with you

He is, Fiona?


We’d doubted Atherleigh. While allowances were made. Scientists are gifted men; it has been necessary all along, to work with the Germans. And the Germans are given to maintaining ties. Wherever you’ve got a Bavarian clockmaker, there’s an American uncle, a cousin on the rue Saint-Gilles. Britain, one does not really suspect otherwise, is riddled as an old tub. Too many resident foreigners of every type. That woman Agnes, brought in as another man’s wife. Dos Santos vanished…all planned for, of course. Calling himself Pelfrey, last photographed in Budapest. They’d set up housekeeping, produced a child. Having her under watch, nine years under watch, we’d marked his little ruse at once, almost infantile.




Older in Their Wisdom

Pencil and pastel drawing of woman and man feeling distressedNewtons: First Battle Stations












(2018, Stephanie Foster)




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