Love Is . . .

Photograph . . . Surrey 2016 . . .  WHB.

MY INITIAL DIAGNOSIS

WAS CIRRHOSIS OR FIBROSIS,

BUT MY GNOSIS BEING HYPNOSIS,

THEN TO REACH APOTHEOSIS

WE NEED MUTUAL SYMBIOSIS.

You may recognise that the opening line of my verse above was also a line in a popular song of 1960,  ‘Goodness Gracious Me’, sung as a duet by Sophia Lauren and Peter Sellers.

The Man In The Iron Mask

Photos . . . WHB – Canterbury

THE IRON MASK

by Sian Napier

snapier@thekmgroup.co.uk

The huge mask which stood outside Canterbury’s Marlowe Theatre from 2003 until it was demolished in 2009 has returned.

Bulkhead, to give it its real name, was moved back to the theatre in The Friars on Friday but now stands by the river in the newly-created outdoor seating area.

The mask is the work of sculptor Rick Kirby and arrived in the city as part of a sculpture festival called Blok.

It was so popular that Canterbury council bought it and had it installed by the old theatre’s forecourt where it stayed until the Marlowe was pulled down.

It was then removed to the council offices in Military Road where it remained outside until Friday.

Marlowe Theatre director Mark Everett said: “It’s wonderful that the Marlowe mask has returned to its rightful place and it was great to see it settling in to its new home by the riverside.

“The mask was always very popular with theatregoers and we know people will be delighted to see it return.”

THE IRON MASK . . . Poem by WHB

The authors in these lines of verse

Are from a distant time

From ages past into the mists

Of tragedy and rhyme.

Dumas was steeped in history

He set himself the task

Of counts and musketeers to write,

The Man in the Iron Mask

Kit Marlowe’s plays were tragedies

Of complex anguished beings

Of Tamburlaine and Faust he wrote

Portrayed their tortured feelings.

The Mask is that of Tragedy

The Greeks performed their dramas

It brings to mind Marlowe’s great themes

Which glimpse life’s endless traumas.

To me this linkage then arose

Between the two famed authors

Take or leave it for what it’s worth

It’s what this conceit proffers.

VENICE


Venetian Sunset – from Piazza San Marco … Pen & Wash – WHB … 2013

City of Islands
City of dream
Inscribed with colour
 Every line.

City of History
City of deeds
Imbued with story
Every step

City of Passion
City of pride
Engorged with fashion
Every stride

City of Clamour
City of bells
Ringing with meaning
Every knell

City of Turmoil
City of strife
Threaded with suffering
Every hurt

City of Mansions
City of graves
Instilled with ardour
Every shrine

City of Titian
City of art
Awash with beauty
Every part

City of Merchants
City of trade
Echoed by Shakespeare
Every shade

City of Conflict
City of strife
Turbulent city
Every vice

City of Water
City of flood
Sea taking over
Every surge

City of Magic
City of spells
Present in each pile
Every shell

City of Revels
City of fun
Carnivals rule life
Every fete

City of Intrigue
City of masks
Sophistry renews
Every day

City of Drama
City of sin
Would I were there now
Let new life begin.

Venice . . . Pen & Wash – WHB: 2013

The Rejected Lady

Darden Centre – Surrey, England: Photo: WHB – 2001

The way to treat a lady when you’re tired
Is not to dump her in a bin and run.
Why not admit that she you once admired
Has lost your love and now your chapter’s done.

To tip her in a bin head first was cruel,
Forgetting all the love she gave to you.
For once she was your all transcendent jewel;
A wretched end was not the thing to do.

She was owed far better from her erstwhile lover,
A fitting end would be a parting prayer,
To let goodbyes be said, the party’s over,
And move on to the next furtive affair.

We hope your new amour will treat you better
Than you deserve, you two-faced cheating brute.
Perhaps she’ll send that candid scarlet letter,
The one which spills the beans on your repute.

Just remember this my callous Casanova.
That when you end your defunct escapades.
When all that great ferment at last is over,
Then, what you sow you’ll truly reap in spades.

SCOTLAND – Pen & Wash

A Gallery of my pen and wash sketches of notable scenes visited in various parts of Scotland – Highlands and Islands

Click on a drawing to enlarge it and view the titles

  1. Ailsa Craig – Firth of Forth
  2. Castle Tioram – Loch Moidart
  3. Castle Dtalker – Argyll
  4. Castle Tioram – 2
  5. Glen Lochranza – Isle of Arran
  6. Lamlash – Isle of Arran
  7. Newton Stewart – Galloway
  8. Rannock Moor Sunset
  9. The Road To The Isles

THE INTERIM FIRE ESCAPE


Found behind my hotel in Somerset, UK, in 2010 … Photograph – WHB

For want of a staircase a ladder will do,
Perhaps when the fire starts there won’t be a queue.
Such was the thinking by those in the know;
For a four star hotel this came as a blow.

To all we old codgers who can’t climb up stairs
This came as a setback, to add to our cares.
To find our retreat cut off in such fashion
Was a palpable blow that sent us all ashen.

So we went to reception describing our plight.
We were told not to worry, things would fast be put right.
A new lift had been ordered to be installed soon.
When I asked them just when they said ‘Maybe next June’.

But don’t worry sir, we’ve got adequate cover.
Our waiter’s a big lad and so is his brother.
Between them they’ll see that you come to no harm,
And besides we’ve just installed a new smoke alarm.

The Husband Creche

In 2010, whilst visiting Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis, the largest town (about 8,000 people)  in the Outer Hebrides, I came across McNeill’s Bar, or, as it chose to describe itself at the time,  ‘McNeill’s Husband Creche’.

I composed the following verse in recognition of the establishment’s attempt to provide succour and support for its wedded male population in their hours of need.  

Just leave your husband here, my dear.

You know he’s feeling rather queer.

Yes, park him in a cosy pub

While you go off and buy the grub.

He’s a babe if truth be told,

He will be as good as gold.

So shoot off while the coast is clear,

You know he’d dearly love a beer.

As long as he has got his drinks

Let him have his 40 winks.

While you for those bargains search

He’ll be happy in his crèche.

And when you have no more to spend

He’ll let you take him home to tend

To his desires, his every need,

Wash his clothes, provide his feed,

Tend his pains, caress his ego.

Lassitude is now his credo,

For as he’s just retired you know

You now must reap what you did sow.