I wrote this poem in response to The Guardian’s Poem of the Week, – a poem which surprised me with its very modern style and attitude, despite having been written 150 years ago. The commentary is enjoyable too, “it’s as if the scene bustled with ghosts from the future.”
Now modern lovers like to fill their houses
With character, reminders of the past
Period features and things built to last
Salvaged from those shipwrecked eras. We browse
Through toughened-glass windows of woodburners
And see ourselves reflecting, warm and smug
On planting natives and foolhardy shrubs
Reframing John Constables and Turners
Pleased we’ve unearthed such secrets. Who else knew
Neutral tones and a glass of Chilean red
Could hide disappointment and thoughts unsaid?
We have mint and thyme where daffodils grew.
The truth is revealed on luminous screens
“Ah, love dies, but wood floors are bound to last
And wine spillages can be mopped up fast!”
You and me shiver now in other dreams.