Duettino by Peter Jordan

11/28/17 04:20:53PM
112 posts

And at my grandparents’ in Migennes—such peace!
I felt I’d seen it, that frozen countryside.
Delicious tête-à-têtes!
Had met your Krakow friends.
Our annual get-together, in Lausanne
(your parents not yet quite estranged)
—no lack of wine, thank God!
Yes, and to me then, ready to find
in easy manners a responsive heart,
our times together seemed a bond.
Now though, Pop wants a transfer, he expects
a coup. Already when I was out there
(six weeks, Paul, in which I lived),
bombs, arson, killings—
as dangerous as hunting jaguars
when you can’t point a gun!
Though I might say, not more exciting
to me than Maya ruins. Then
the scents, the tastes, the colours, are sheer joy.
And to take in from all this
its mestizo essence—the blend
of city and jungle, politics
and mythology, present and past
(like Brecht at the puppet-theatre)—
made me absurdly happy.
But the illusion once seen through
—when once you see that what you found
you brought—, it’s seen through once for all.
Only this keeps the charm,
as of light opera, your life had then.
The baron and his wife I like immensely,
although I never see them—
he’s always giving singing-lessons,
she fishes an old gravel-pit for trout
—‘the only fish’ (she’s English) ‘that really fight.’
My room there’s large enough, the apartment
(very elegant)’s in the Habsburgergasse
—in the old city, with its atmosphere
(which I adore) of decadent Empire days,
The world of yesterday in memory,
each walking the other home in turn,
Thursborough nights stained orange.

updated by @americymru: 11/28/17 04:28:57PM