Shangri-La

We present this work in honor of the poet’s 100th birthday.

Rosamund Stanhope
English
1919 – 2005

 

Never here the risk of
the missed catch, the lost
‘bus, the possibility of the
bottom falling out of the
lotus-market; the certainty that
the face we love will be no longer
there; that one day all this Noddy stuff will dissolve
and Andy Pandy suffocate in his dream-box.
On this island the sun casts no
shadows; amaranth survives without
rain; no fly in the
appointments, chloramine in the
water; no valley in our
alley.

And therefore no
pungent hush as the shower comes down
to rescue the fifth
Test; no final poignant kiss
on the cold cheek of the
dead; just the usual boring
immortelles, the assurance of
helichrysum, the illimitable Tithonus dawns.

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