Poets’ Pub readings: Vivian Hopkirk

Poems written and read by Vivian Whiteley Hopkirk.

Spring at the Villa


An aristocratic languor clings
to bowers & rhododendrons as
over the lawn in silk & pearls
a lonely beauty names her fears.

The marvellous avenues & arbours,
padded chairs, alabaster tables,
for bridge & talk of cocker-spaniels,
glint among ermined roses, potted lemon,
exquisite trees packed with crickets,
as a lonely beauty smiles, distracted. 

On the cleft limb of an apple-tree
a lizard launching stillness snatches
from gilded air a floating moth,
prancing as he hauls it to his belly. 

“The fabled brute’s a reptile now”
she mused, distracted, fingering pearls,
“the lion’s a spayed Persian on my bed.
The wolves of hot appointment are
these sweet, tedious, important cocker-spaniels
partying for ever at my feet . . . 

“This is clearly good, & yet—this is clearly good
because it is civilized, it is peace. And I
am poised amid this peace
like the final reverberation of a dream.” 

(Where to find the earth for such a seed?)


sine qua non  


You are my nude, & thus I draw you

with a bough splashed in blood, hurl my life
at death to draw your mouth. 

You are my nude, & so I sunder
raving in a distant brilliance
tracking fire & root of crystal

to sing your eye,  draw your nipple,
print your feet with a word.

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