Mince No Words: Seventh Battle Stations

Posted by ractrose on 17 Jan 2020 in Art, Poems




The Folly

Battle Stations





Mince No Words


Business is to be got to…Trout, though he’d offered pretext

Possesses so little of personal quality

While a monocled eye, unsuffering of fools, peers so expectant

The host shrugs away his first, introductory amblings

Though ahead he forages as much as forges…

‘You know, of course, that we are a Spiritualist circle

at the Folly, that Mrs. Tattersby…ahem…however’

It had looked to him as though Llewellyn thought to speak

‘Mrs. Tattersby, I say, is curiously a connexion of Atherleigh

She has gone abroad…’

A silence

‘Follow me to my library.’

An upstairs room well-heated, a view of the sea

Two armchairs in conversation placed to catch salt draughts

from the balcony. ‘Now we’ll mince no words,’ the colonel says

‘You mention Atherleigh. For a reason. I’ll have it.’

Curiously, the host rebukes himself

The very spot I put the fatal foot

No help. Truth the recommended thing, and none to tell

Falco’s name delivered them from the dead man Krug.

‘I should waste your time making pretence—

Llewellyn’s eye says, late for that

‘Fiona is a private woman, but these events

Are…were…have been, rather spectacular…

She finds the boy Leslie given into her care

I believe, in fact, they call him Wennie…from his second name…’

‘They may call him as they like, no doubt. Hardly to do with me.

Sir, you have said nothing to the point.

I suspect you are less the simpleton than you make out.’

Why yes. Why no. Never mind.

The point is a gamble, a desperate toss

Or not. Dare it…dare it…

What will they do, clap you in the stocks?

‘I don’t know the fellow’s Christian name…’




Mince No Words

Charcoal and pastel drawing of man wearing bowler and looking consternatedA Body Surfaces
















(2020, Stephanie Foster)




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