Rosemary Tonks

Rosemary Tonks
Black Kief and the Intellectual
I shall fill up that pit inside me
With my gloomiest thoughts; and then
Spread myself, prostrate, inert, on top of them.
Ah, miserable at last! Felicity.
Those who drink the sea with its fishy breath
Cannot know with what dread I gorge to death
On ideologies— bitter dogma, dialectic, creed;
H.P. sauce, ketchup, mayonnaise, chutney,
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Addiction to an Old Mattress
No, this is not my life, thank God ...
... worn out like this, and crippled by brain-fag;
Obsessed first by one person, and then
(Almost at once) most horribly besotted by another;
These Februaries, full of draughts and cracks,
They belong to the people in the streets, the others
Out there – haberdashers, writers of menus.

Salt breezes! Bolsters from Istanbul!
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I swear that I would not go back
To pole the glass fishpools where the rough breath lies
That built the Earth – there, under the heavy trees
With their bark that’s full of grocer’s spice,

Not for an hour – although my heart
Moves, thirstily, to drink the thought – would I
Go back to run my boat
On the brown rain that made it slippery,
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Running Away
In the green rags of the Bible I tore up
The straight silk of childhood on my head
I left the house, I fled
My mother’s brow where I had no ambition
But to stroke the writing
I raked in.

She who dressed in wintersilk my head
That month when there is baize on the high wall
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The Sofas, Fogs, and Cinemas
I have lived it, and lived it,
My nervous, luxury civilisation,
My sugar-loving nerves have battered me to pieces.

... Their idea of literature is hopeless.
Make them drink their own poetry!
Let them eat their gross novel, full of mud.

It’s quiet; just the fresh, chilly weather ... and he
Gets up from his dead bedroom, and comes in here
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