THE TURNKEY

The smile on Jimmy Jone’s face
shines on his friends, who, every day
bask in the warmth as each new dawn
he rises, stretching with a yawn,
prepared to captivate and lay
each preening miss in silk and lace.

No clouds of doubt obscure his sun;
the conquering hero never fails
but having won, loses his zest.

Yet, treated like a loathsome pest
by ice-cold maid with lacquered nails,
he saves his smile for just this one.

She is the sole epitome
of challenge and the Holy Grail.
Blinkered now, his friends outcast
and smiling still, is trapped at last.
No longer the philandering male
as by-gone loves watch avidly.

He buys a padlock and a chain
in velvet, in a tiny box.
The ice-cold maid is ice all through
and starts to mould her man anew.
She turns the key, the smile she locks
away…never to be seen again.

WHAT WILL THE NEIGHBOURS THINK?

She knelt down to pick up the envelope which had just dropped on to the doormat and, with trembling hands, ripped it open and unfolded the sheet of paper….

She was always nervous opening letters, fearing bad news. Arthur usually opened them, chiding her for her silly fears; just one more little thing she missed since his recent death.
She glanced down at the unfamiliar hand-writing. Who would be writing to her Arthur?

Dear Arthur,
I know I promised I wouldn’t write but I’m afraid the money you send, each month, is no longer enough. Sharon will be fourteen soon and asks about her father all the time. I am tempted to tell her where you live.
I don’t suppose you’ve told your wife…

Doris, the letter still clutched in her hand, sat down heavily on the stairs, resting her forehead on the cool polished oak banisters. She felt weak.
Her Arthur… how could he…? All these years, never a word…fourteen, nearer fifteen years …She reached back into the past…yes, they’d been living in this very same house, 51, Barrack Street.
When could he have…? There were those conferences in Manchester…

She turned the envelope over to see the post-mark and stared, unbelievingly, at the name.
Mr Arthur Trimble, 53, Barrack Street…
”Fifty-three…next door.” She gasped. “Oh, that’s Mildred’s Arthur…”

IN BROWN’S HOTEL

In Brown’s Hotel we sipped our tea, all the Danson Poets
…and me.
This hotel, we did admire, on being told the valet of Byron
had a wheeze, over biscuits and cheese
to open an inn, where folks could drop in,
…for a fee.

We could never have phoned to book our table
if A. Graham Bell had not been able
to make his first phone call, I don’t know to whom
but he might have used this very same room
where all the Danson poets and me
were eating off Wedgewood and sipping our tea.

The ladies boudoir was furnished in style,
no modern dryers; rolled towels in a pile,
soft and scented to pamper and please,
everything there to put one at their ease,

and Marie reclined with her usual aplomb
completely at home on the French style chaise-longue..
Then again, Rudyard Kipling, creating Shere-Kahn,
dreamt of the jungle in the peace and the calm
of Brown’s Hotel while sipping his tea
…some of his dreams could rub off on me.

Soft chamber music cushioned the sound
of chattering voices as we tackled the mound
of sandwiches, scones and fancy gateaux and oh!
it was lovely, all this to share with friends and to think long ago…
just there…
Agatha Christie sipped her tea
like all the Danson poets
,,,and me.

© Marion Sharville

BEAUTIFUL ENEMY

Beautiful enemy, mirror of the skies,
slumbering, uneasy as a whisper of deceit.
Angered in her awakening
by the mindless wind,
passion rages
hurling and spitting insults like a whore.

Fathom deep, in stormless tranquillity,
her emerald heart
cold-clamps her minions
in blind submission to survival.

Purring waves on golden sand, soft and inviting
as a touch of lace against the skin,
caress and mould the beauty of the passive land
while devouring it,
savouring each bite
with mouth-watering relish.

© Marion Sharville

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