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Friday, 28 October 2016

Oh LOOK! It’s J R Hartley

Oh LOOK! It’s J R Hartley


Well, the rain drums upon slumbering dreams.
While you’re searching for a plumber.
It’s the dripping mists of the summer.
Wishing you had used that telephone book,
And it’s taking you bloody ages to look.
When someone, somewhere, suddenly screams:
‘Oh LOOK! It’s J R Hartley!’

Traffic snarls to a screaming halt
People gaze in shock and awe.
Three wheeled baby buggies smack the kerb,
cell phones buffer, that pin is heard.
Not just there for the nasty things in life,
Like a dripping tap or a moaning wife:
‘Oh LOOK! It’s J R Hartley!’

Your sodden carpet quickly forgotten,
they thrust their fingers in his direction.
The whispers start, it’s really him!
Fly Fishing, bookshops, the rueful grin,
The dialled phone, the temper, the rages,
The silly old duffer from Yellow Pages:
‘Oh LOOK! It’s J R Hartley!’

Wine from water, to touch his hem,
flocks of people surge as one,
with paper and pens: ‘Is it a crime
to tell us of fishing with flies, if you’ve time?
Tell us of numbers and dials and books
of fruitless searches and sorrowful looks:
Save us, Save us!  J R Hartley!’

But it’s not a fisher of men you need,
to stem the tide before the flooring is wrecked.
Shove to the front and jab his chest,
would it be crass to simply confess?
And point out the obvious ocular truth,
to something so witless and long in the tooth?

‘Hey!
J R Hartley? Know the number of any good plumbers, then?
Thought not!’