to Frank Le Baige
2016, revised december 2021

Scratching names into nothing that will remember them… a Weathercat wander snap

how many of us
have tried
to scratch
our names
in the nothing
that lasted

on that beach,
in the sandstone
cliff that outcrops
on piled shell,
where the
strata arch over
a hollow,
hollower then,
though hardly
a cave, a spot
i’ve known
since childhood,
it’s there i’ll
look with eye
and finger for my
brother’s name
he dug out
deeply, i
thought then,
some 50 years
ago with stick
and blade and
bragged it good
for a ‘100 years’;
one of his usual
i’d long stopped
to believe

i imagine
i do
see something
faintly there
like something in
the tidal shallows,
the shadow of a
flounder moving
out, imagine
i’ve found a letter
and he was
right i can
go on dreaming
i’ve found it
even 50 years
from this life
into the maybe
a name as
good as
his word,

which was
never to
be believed

Copyright © 2021 Peter Le Baige. All Rights Reserved

The music accompanying the the reading is from the opening of the second movement ( Largo, con gran espressione) of Beethoven’s Piano sonata No.4 in E flat major, op.7, interpreted here in a 1935 recording by Artur Schnabel.

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