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spring 2012



featuring the art of Bill Rogers

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The Abominable Luncheon of Gabriel Ravenchild
spring 2012
The table is set with precision,
Utensils in battle array,
With poultry and potatoes,
With pinchbread, persimmon and pear.
Gabriel is seated at a table on the lawn.
The meal is served in courses.
Napkin swans coast on a linen ocean.
A slight stirring in the grass.

Before the tea is served he comes.
The Unplanned arrival.
An invasive guest ghosting over crumpets.
Staghorn on China betrays him.
Who looks back through these round white plates?
Strange elevation.
Two pairs of eyes meet.
Blue and cautious behold dark and forested.
Two huge thorny arms reaching Heavenward.
Horns are fingers clutching,
Against the cool September, the Indian Summer sun.

O Swift and Terrible Head!
Who can stop this uncharted beast?
Antlers engage mahogany!
Table tumbles back!
Plates fly everywhere!
Salad forks mean nothing - mean everything!
A salt shaker appears in the heavens!

The table has been stripped of its linens.
The lemons have been laid waste.
The fowl has returned to the dust.
And Gabriel, rather bruised and battered, has need of a new coat.

Ah, the tea arrives!
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I haven't seen (or even read) much of Alice in Wonderland, but this poem conjures up that type of atmosphere. Good stuff. The makings of a (children's?) illustrated book?

Why thanks. I felt it was somewhere between Saki and Drowning By Numbers, but I can see Alice as well.

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