Doctor Shellswell goes his rounds,
a country gent, complete in his plus-fours -
plus-sixes, now and then - green tweed,
as I recall. As welded to
his Gladstone bag as Charlie to his cap. #1
Attends me when I'm ill, but got it wrong
breathtakingly just once. Pneumonia
and pleurisy. He diagnosed: A flash
in David's pan! But now
we settle for Bronchitis, by and large -
The London smog's what gets the blame.
A keen philatelist - as I . He sits
beside me on my bed, and from
his Gladstone bag takes out
a pocket book of swaps.
We trade before he'll diagnose.
My Grandparents downstairs
grow very anxious as the minutes pass -
on one occasion just beyond the hour -
and still no word of what is wrong
or why it's taking so much time. I think it's Granddad
(mostly) who will pay his frequent bills - although
I saw the doctor once refuse the payment due,
waving it away like dad had got it wrong.
Today we'll visit his large house. It boasts
a waiting room consulting room and surgery
and, newly built, a pharmacy. The latter
is for me the focus of the day. There's one
whole shelf of bottles, meticulously ranked
in differing hues of red and shades of pink.
Pick-me-ups and tonics - put-me-downs,
my granddad says - but none of them for me. For
me, he'll mix my favourite shade before my eyes.
I watch the colours change. He'll be the grand
magician - perhaps they'll even cycle through
a set of hues. He plays it differently for me -
or does he? Something says that Granddad's
in the wings, ringmaster of a sort,
manipulating the performance. Is it just an act?
The Doctor drives an Armstrong Siddeley Saloon -
not only owns a car, but has a garage, too,
a monstrous thing with sliding doors, joined to
the house, though hidden behind trees.
When coming down the steep slope from
the railway bridge, a billowing cloud emerges
from the side road at its foot,
clobbers him amidships, dents a wing.
The billowing resolves itself, becomes
the rather unbecoming garments of a priest:
a cassock and a wild and woolly cloaky thing -
beyond a man's control in a high wind.
Its Father Proberty in priestly garb.
More of him next time.
The moon petals the sea. Rose petals the sea. Stone sea. Stone petals. Rose petals of stone. Stone rising before me. Sea moves. How moves...
It all depends, you see, how you go about it. And that I cannot tell you, for that will be dictated by you and by you knowing your friends...
A Birthday in April ~ Wordsworth Prompt from The Imaginary Garden with Real Toads (The first of three posts which will celebrate the l...
This post has in a sense been handed to me by two or three responses to my post On not getting it. In the course of discussing how a reade...
extract from the poem Koi by John Burnside All afternoon we've wandered from the pool to alpine beds and roses ...