A Poem for Paule

A Poem for Paule

A Poem for Paule

It started with Louis, with Edac
A meeting at Courtney Place
And there we all were
Ready, eager, delightfully unaware of the
Roles written for us and the parts we were playing
On the stage made ready for

Tony

Enter stage left or right (it varied)
Rather casually at first as though
It all signified nothing much at all
Paule it's your brother
And there he was
Not a familiar visitor
Not a stranger either
A trophy though, a lot older
Or so it seemed then
before the decades telescoped
And seven years eventually
Made us contemporaries
Our flat in Maida Vale Road
A magnet he was drawn to
It was not, as I had briefly imagined
My attraction in action.
Dating started. Judy first
Paule being otherwise engaged
And always in demand.
Not many could resist
her beauty, wit, and depth of field.
Your getting together was
Just a matter of time
Beauty, wit, depth you both had
in abundance.
You looked good together
You sounded good
You were good and
Plans we had to be missionaries
In South America so we could
Learn Spanish, see the world
And serve god on the side
Were too flimsy to survive
The tsunami you were creating
Which would soon break over us
In a church in Hastings.
I never knew his baby self
Repute reported regularly
Clever, agreeable, easy
Mum’s words dominated
Dad was more ambivalent
As he grew to be good at Latin and Greek
The by-product of a seminary
He disappeared to and where
He wet the bed we heard
as he had at home
He flourished in an academe
Dad had never had access to
So he mocked his ungreen fingers
His lack of the practicality
At which Dad excelled but which the
World did not rate.
And now he has gone
Leaving you and the beauties you created
To live out your days
Feeding on memories
And enjoying alone
The new lives he will never see.

I couldn’t attend the funeral so I sent these words.

You never made it to Lismore Tones though we talked about it plenty and I imagined you and Paule coming off the ferry well wrapped up as you were the time you came to London from Hong Kong proud of your detachable extremely warm coat lining. How quiet it is you said of London, which could only be said if Hong Kong had been your previous home. And how polite people are on the tube you added as you went off to the Old Bailey to hear the wisdom of Lord Denham. I never knew your child self only that it sounded an idyll which you assured me it was not the last time we met a mere 3 weeks ago. I thought going to the coast for holidays with granddad the height of social dizziness but, as you said, you had measles, you were four years old and abandoned by Granddad to the third class while he travelled in style the entire way in first. Perhaps this is just one reason why you were a very different sort of Granddad. You came back into my life as a young thing about Wellington – a trophy brother who visited my flat and thanks to the irresistible charms of Paule who was greatly sought after – you began the story that we didn’t expect to end so soon. We are with you all today. With love Pauline and Stuart. xxxxx