Marcus Aurelius at the BBC/Red Light


“Would you awfully mind if Wardrobe
Fitted you with sandals and a toga?   –
It jogs collective memory   –   you see
Our viewers are all Liberal
Arts Graduates retired into confusion…”

‘I never wore a toga in my life   –
Though Britain has discounted
Its youthful modernists
Might not my midnight-blue
Three-button mohair suit
Equally fit the bill?
My slip-ons are glove-leather
So unlike sandals
Won’t raise friction-sores
Between the toes   –
This knitted tie is retro though brand-new
And therefore it is typically Italian

You’ll notice I’ve slimmed down a bit
And trimmed the Stoic beard?   –
Some take me for Jeremy Corbyn
Who most mistake for Pete Seeger

I look forward to your questioning in live late-night debate   –
To plucking your microphone from my lapel
Then storming for the door into the street
Declaring all mass-media ‘Asinine   –   a Lie
So far up itself it may not formulate one Truth’   –
Three-quarters through proceedings might be right?   –

I have a date in Bar Italia
With Ms. Emin and Ms. Lucas
Jarvis Gibb and Little Barry




‘That memento mori over there…
Bald old boy with leopard spots
For hands…   and still
A flower in his lapel?
Be kind to him
He always tips twice what he pays
To girls who might remind him
Once he was the lover of…

Yes…of Ballet Russe…
So keep your wits about you
On your toes
And fly…

Don’t ask me!
This world is full
Of novelties   surprises
Love conundrums’



Bernard Saint
Illustration: Claire Palmer



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