Poem Hunter
Oxford Thumbnails
RG (June 1,1965 / Cheltenham, U.K.)

Oxford Thumbnails

1 Porter

The 'Sir' says it all.
'You are my superior.
Is that correct, sir? '

Deference sharpens
the scalpel of irony.
'Are these your drugs, sir? '

And you tug fore-lock:
in this feast, the servants rule.
'I'll tell the Dean, sir'.

2 Augean

Donegal jacket
in shreds; trousers food-stippled;
whiff of Glenfiddich.

Police pounce. They charge him -
thunderstruck - with vagrancy.
Down at St.Aldates

they blanch; blush; blurt 'Please
accept our apologies,
Professor Woodgate'.

3 Head Of Buttery

A slur shadows him,
his student patrons' unkind
whisper: 'He's simple'.

But power devolves.
Diners nearest him (losers
in the race for seats)

endure a stream-of-
consciousness jeremiad
on his terms of work.

4 Tristan

In ashen silence
he mans the till at Turl Street's
Classical Bookshop.

A car hit his girl
on the bridge: she died at the
scene, wearing his ring.

He nurses her candle;
sentinel of manuscripts'
sweet, musky echo

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