Perhaps a Pair of Eyes: First German Spy

Posted by ractrose on 10 Apr 2020 in Art, Poems

Pastel drawing of woman with blue face




The Folly

The German Spy





Perhaps a Pair of Eyes


Can a man in Tattersby’s estate

Plant his feet and lift the standard

Do we contemplate to name this tidal movement

(a little shaver chipped from the block of ancient manners)

The Modern Chivalry

Dames to entertain the dropping of a hankie

Even to allow the figure of a man

The launch

if not the following of a lance


When the host was packing, and had placed his bag

In carelessness a stone’s toss from the hearth

It was Roscoe took it on himself

to knock out Simon’s marble,

with an aviator’s savvy

for the arc

Simon’s pilgrimage may serve him thus

for a geste (Fiona grants it)

‘But even there…’

She interrupts herself to thrust a finger

At the guest

‘You’ve let Virginia start you on a habit…

All whimsy and romance…this wish to lend enchantment

To an unrepentant villain and a pest.’

Her late estranged’s quest sped with quixotic perseverance

O’er his lady’s threshold, London-ward

‘But, my dear,’ the host nods aside to their leader

‘you assign the soul a task too hard.’


‘I have promised Trout I will share in his guilt,

though I rather suspect him quite safe.’

Beetling off into the woods after supper

Tramping at sunrise home like a sleepwalker

Trailing a fluttering of cobweb

Stumbling indoors, eyes a-stare, hair on end

Pawing at the phone in a nervous tremour

‘Ahem. Is this…Llewellyn…? Oh…I see…the colonel isn’t…

No…I have no message…’

Passing the guest he’d murmured, ‘I shall be below…’


‘There is too much light,’ says the host.

‘I really don’t make it out…but just there, upper right

Perhaps a pair of eyes and a sort of mouth.’



Perhaps a Pair of Eyes

Pastel drawing of male face showing feeling of desperation

Chiswick 1934













(2018, Stephanie Foster)




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