And when we were children

we flew like birds, like infant hawks:

a flock of revels, of mad tricks,

of nightingales and devils in disguise;

 

with stuck-on lashes and thick black

fringes, we played through the ages,

the voices, hearts and faces;

 

the Twenties, the Seventies, Blockheads

and Bastards; a Blue Angel lounging

on the piano – the master-mistress

of the fur and feathers.

 

But we kicked the novelty, we pricked

the irony, the high-pitched

hilarity and the high-brow pomposity.

 

We hit it like a dark, rugby-playing Nijinsky;

with the sins of the city, the corruption –

sexuality, morality – “O,

this is really quite filthy!”

 

We stamped with size-eleven feet,

with hairy legs in opaque tights;

we danced to the blare of the beat.

 

I’m a woman – problem? – I move men,

they weep for me, for lust – the Dark Lady –

for bare shoulders in the Bear Garden,

Fa le la la! It’s the feral peril, the power

of attraction;

 

it’s the Pistols, the Vespers, the grand

dame of the senile, all-in-one, in one

clamorous anthem.

 

But. Youth grows pale and spectre-thin.

Statues turn in time to stone. As

the music fades, we wipe our lips,

stained with verse and with a kiss.

 

Harry Davies