The Folly: Henry Calmacott (part two)

Posted by ractrose on 7 May 2021 in Art, Poems

Charcoal and pastel drawing of puny man walking beside woman in 1920s dress




The Folly

Calmacott’s Brother





Henry Calmacott (part two)


She is a young woman still.

Of thirty years or thereabouts, I’d guess

And when I’d walked out with Bess, once

Or twice

Met her down the Ram’s

Took her to the picture show

Right enough in the head, those days. Jealous though.

Now they say, these many years

Has let the place fall down around her ears

Got Mother’s back up straightaway

Opening her drawers

And when she’d found the clipping, read:

‘Unfortunate Death in Somerset’

Said to Mother, ‘I know a secret about that.

Mathilda never wrote that note.’


A murmuring voice, a woman’s

Fills this silence, Henry’s words

Seem repeated in another tongue

Her offices draw from the Celts

A peal of exclamation

And feeling sighs of wonderment

‘Michael Calmacott,’ she says, ‘tell on.’

‘Two things don’t coincide alone.

They might have found some traces of my bones

if they had sought to look. But why

should Mr. Atkins have thought it?

A trio of soldiers hare off from a nursing home

A man, that night, is stabbed outside the town

A motor car turns over on a curve

A girl breaks her neck

And fires light the hilltops

On Arthur’s farm the pigeoncote goes next’




Henry Calmacott
Pastel drawing of man feeling compassionate

Unfortunate Death












(2017, Stephanie Foster)




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