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Tony Thomas


Tony Thomas was born in England in 1939, and is a retired bureaucrat living in Brisbane, Australia. He has an Australian wife, two adult daughters, a dog and a cat. He holds a degree in economics from the University of Queensland. His interests are catholic, and include: writing fiction, poetry, and political diatribes to the newspapers. Other abiding interests include political and social philosophy, with occasional forays into logic and the foundations of mathematics. His politics are left wing anarchism, but his activities are restricted to the pen rather than the sword. Tony is actually a well known poet, writer, mathematician and logician of some stature, though he modestly complains that on the contrary, he is not only obscure - but unknown, and should probably be described as such. On this website his prose pieces and poems attract an increasing number of regular readers - so I reckon he is wrong for once - enjoy. ( Editor.)

                         by Tony Thomas.

North, South and West runs the Hermitage,
No oriental shadows rise up to rage
Against the dying of the evening light,
And by opposing end the infernal fight
That runs amok upon Aurora’s stage.
A hidden door to unexpected deeps,
A dark repository sleeps beneath the floor,
A Dis enchantment from another age,
Lying ready for minds experimental
To explore its unplumbed depths and hallows.

Milk in the scullery in an earthen jug,
On the kitchen floor a ragamuffin rug.
You know the kind of thing that never blends,
Made with cast off linen odds and ends.
Athena and Arachne fought over it,
It seems like only yesterday they bit
Each other’s heads off and couldn’t make amends.
Just think what they could do if they were friends.

The landlady sits rocking in her chair
A pearl surmounted hatpin in her hair,
Parkinson shakes her teacup to declare
That she hasn’t much time on hand to spare.
No point in resisting the parlous state
As ashes to ashes on the floor migrate.
"Never cry over spilt milk, my dears.
I’ve used that feather duster now for years."

And in the heat of afternoon Louise,
Welsh Aphrodite wears utility,
CC 47 cloven circle of disdain,
She’ll never go to Pluto’s Heaven again.
Beauty branded with a dental moon,
She bends down to bestow a kiss
On the double-crown of young Adonis.
Inviolate, shrinking from a cloud of nicotine
And rosy flowers bleeding from her lips,
He spurns love’s queen, squirms free and slips away.

Unregarded now, he wanders off alone
Down the hall with tiles of black and bone,
Sidling into the dining room to find
The family treasure house, a panoply
Of Edwardian bric-a-brac displayed
On tables of oak and mahogany.
Bourgeois fears allayed by things of every kind,
Excess consumption gave them peace of mind.

Standing in a corner near the mantelpiece
A horned viper with a golden tooth, fed on shellac,
Will scratch Caruso from a disk of black.
Hombourg’s Rachmaninov prelude might please,
If your Gilbert and Sullivan is worn.
Just wind the handle tight and then release
To hear your choice, sung by His Masters Voice.
Two small doors open to reveal the horn.

In the attic above the creaking stair
The north light seeps into a dusty room
An iron bedstead, procrustean repose.
A lonely spider keeps an ancient lair
Awaiting patiently its hungry doom.
While down below the girls in silken hose
Talk about what shows at the Empire today,
Olivier in Hamlet or Doris Day.

After tea of battered spam the lady lodgers
Take their leave through where the purloined gate
Used to be. Any old iron removed in war
Will not be rejoined for reasons of state.
Off to the back seat of the Kings they go,
Only one and nine to see Roy Rodgers
Riding on Trigger, so quick on the draw.
Followed by Crosby in a Minstrel show

In the kitchen, back at number eight
The fire is burning low within the grate.
Behind the radio a mordant gleam,
A leaden stream of bubbles in thick glass.
Fair weather from Chromarty to German Bight;
Listening to the forecast helps the time to pass.
More coal, it’s growing colder now at night.
Thin fingers at her throat clutch the moonstone tight.
Will the envelope contain the five-pound note
And the same filial words set down by rote?

After cocoa, when Mother’s safe abed
Dreaming of too long a life of dread,
Joan returned sans the idiot villager
She’d spurned after a first slobbering kiss.
An Ophelia without a Hamlet goes amiss,
Unlike Louise of the peroxide hair
Who always has plenty of beaus to spare.
Outside the moon yawns, it doesn’t seem to care.