Dougal Inskip’s Lonely Vigil: Seventh Tattersby

Posted by ractrose on 9 Jan 2019 in Art, Poems

Pastel drawing of couple feeling anxious and irritated followed by woman's rejected admirer



The Folly






Dougal Inskip’s Lonely Vigil


When she had been Fiona Medwin

Long about the jaw, but fair enough to a man

Content to break even on a steady-goer

No desire for a flash in the pan

Women, though, Dougal says to himself

Flash will get them, even the sensible ones

Ought she to burn a torch for Tattersby

Useless git to let a butterfly flatter him

…Lady Gimple, not a proper title either

Always the fly-boys with that one

(by reputation)


He has trodden the beckoning path

Wisham’s Hill Cottage to the Folly’s gate

He has no pretext for passing beyond

She won’t thole it, won’t take it as a caring friend’s


Tear another strip, more like… say to him again, not

Thank you, dear (you are so good to me)

But, Dougal, are you mad?


And at once, the light goes out

‘You must be mad. I swear you are!

Look at you, Mr. Inskip, preening on the inside!

Did she call you Dougal, you poor lamb? How starved you are!

And what a meagre banquet the old girl provides.

How dare you, while we’re at it, say my title’s not a proper one?

Because poor Reggie got his for flying a blimp over the channel?

Ah, poor Reggie! He has truly gone down to the sea.

We’ll never know if his soul washes up on some Froggie beach.’


Light laughter. Dougal, meanwhile, struggles,

bending double, dancing foot to foot.

She has taken impish hands from his eyes,

And got him by the arms…round the ankles.

He is painfully aware he looks a fool.

Wrestling the invisible.

At last he dares to whisper, ‘Lady Gimple…’




Dougal Inskip’s Lonely Vigil
Charcoal and pastel drawing of hand upraising silver Celtic brooch with red and green stones

Edwytha’s Plait: Eighth Tattersby
See related images on Pinterest











(2017, Stephanie Foster)




%d bloggers like this: