where the writers are
Memorial Poem for Frances Bluestone Bacon

Things are unstrung here.

Phone wires stop at the river,

Word arrives on radio waves, jumpy

As black Swallows stitching the torn sky.

There is sighing on the line. Murmurs

prayers of a wobbly heart.

My wife has called to say

“Frances Bacon died.”

A horse cries in the stifling day.

pulse pounds against the ear

calling that agitated mare

to order but she screams again

insistent for her absent Mate.

My laughing pal is gone.

Just a moment ago among the silks

And challis and bobbed Italian Pines,

diamond spray winking against her throat

we danced while David read The Times.
Lapis Lazuli, Turquoise, precious Bluestone.

How can matter disappear?

Has Ferragamo’s installed a one-way door?

My God, Frances, some stupid, mechanical fault

Your pace-maker could not match your generosity

gave up its tinny ghost perhaps,

but not your heart!

It churned seas of blood, stormed,

Howled with laughter, smoothed ruffled edges

penetrated hairline faults. Only one

Hand could stifle such a muscle.

We know the culprit. The reward’s been coined

where your name’s invoked.

Everything moves in starlight.

Dappled leaves, flinty hills

The crying mare. The sighing in my phone

Rushed from London, now diminished

by its true Queen. The cortege

has passed you to the freighter

which leaves no wake,

attracts no birds and raucous calls.

Shore-stranded, I stand, see

Souls assembled on the decks turn

their backs because they (I assume)

they cannot bear the loss

of quick and greening beauty

but I am wrong. Hawsers fall in slow-motion,

passengers attend a slender woman

gesturing with her hands clutching

an elegant navy cape. She arranges

the chairs for a feast, instructing each

to appointed place with a pat, a laugh

or anecdote. They are contented by her protocols.

The living own the sweat-stained linen

And silk, damp stains of sorrow and messy joy.

We suffer the bright and constant Sun,

– all manner of diversion , and yet

today the dead have all the luck

they have Frances.