Poetry

Deck-Chairs

It seems these canvas contraptions are coming back,

have been sighted in modish homewares stores,

along with designer cushions and every sort of throw.

Deck-chairs! Those favourites of the 1930s,

supporting all those Bloomsbury bottoms

in drowsy summer gardens of the literati.

The famous faces look up at the camera—

Vanessa and Clive and the Woolves, Morgan,

Lytton and Carrington—from panamas,

early sunglasses or thatch of remarkable hair.

Because they are sitting so close to the ground

they seem vulnerable, yet how steadily

photographs record their confident gaze;

we guess the witticism just uttered, the laughter

dissolving in the mild, tobacco-scented air.

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