Time makes man a play-thing
But man alone may play with time –

Here comes Shelly Manne
Have you met this man?
His inner clock can calibrate
A micro hair-breadth fraction
Of silence amid action
In tempi so discreet
He charms a brazen Herd or horde
To linger on a ballad chord
Eliciting lyrical solos

It is cool to be so warm
None suspect that you are cool
Time is a returning spool
As Albert Einstein speculates –
A spiral where all tenses meet
So walking in this Roman street
Expresses yesteryear’s espresso…

I was sipping on the cheap –
Leaning at the zinc bar with Marco
Aurelius in that café
Just behind the Trevi
Frequented by Fellini
Who clocks the passing scene
Seeking a timely stranger
To pass for Julius Caesar
In his flick at Cinecitta

Of which Roma is the star
Unfolding from her languor
Stories layered like lasagne
Poems underfoot and then some
Fables underhand and
All except yours truly




Kid you look dead good
But no-one kid
Looks too good dead

Think you have the smarts?
Silence is far smarter
Imagine that you’re minted?
Silence is the stronger breath-enhancer

Silence is the smarter part of valour
That is why I seem so drop-dead gorgeous


Bernard Saint
Illustration: Claire Palmer





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