Witley Court

In northwest Worcestershire
in eighteen-sixty
Samuel Dawkes installed
the fireproof floors of Witley Court

Put to the test in a fire
the firemen could not extinguish
the fireproof floors
failed to distinguish
themselves and are no longer
really to be trusted

Visitor to Witley Court
enter at your peril



Below the Stairs


Anemia, dyspepsia and ulcer
afflict the chambermaid

It’s the damnable food you give her
“kitchen” tea
“kitchen” meat
“kitchen” butter

that force her
to indulge in
unhealthy “between meal” snacks



Brown and Lilly Bungalows
Boston Garters Simpitrol

The search for health and pleasure
leads to no fairer clime

Laxton House and Hamble Bank
The Grange and Brinkley Grove

How is it you got out so early?

Oh the missis bought a vacuum
and it do the work in no time



In a Churchyard

where droop the little ivy shoots
the sun slants down to kiss
the heaps of mellow headstones
brown and gold with tender lichen

Where soil runs deep and loamy
sturdy, unabashed,
singly, in pairs or in great batches
ever where the sun shall be their lover
who need slight wooing
to flaunt their winsome charms




A cherry colored picture hat
of Tagal straw, its only trimming
a black and white big windmill bow
at one side, or in front

A shady hat in silver straw
the brim rolled up
and on the crown a clump
of blue wings from an Indian jay




I love crystal fringe on a dance frock
and the ripple of light as you pass
in a plain little chemisette bodice
drawn down from your shoulder
by long heavy tassles that match
your tunic of pale rose-pink charmeuse