Saturday, January 28, 2012

Susan Penhaligon poetry: The Ashes - in memory of actor Richard Warwick

Susan Penhaligon
Madame Arcati debuted (post-Coward rehearsal) as warrior. These days, this site is a salon of the precious talents - a refuge from the tyranny of media criminality and the tiresome reflexes of tenured hacks (I have yet to see one decent media cock-cocker or cunt-cunter at the Leveson inquiry - do you now see the playground prejudices at work? The recycling of stereotypes in real-life real-time?).

But enough of transitory fashion. The passing delusions. One of the talents the Madame Arcati salon adores is actor Susan Penhaligon. I have already showcased her poetry (click here to read); and I'm honoured to publish yet another example of her work - I ho hope publishers are paying attention.

The Ashes was written in memory of actor Richard Warwick (1945-1997). Susan tells me: 'He played my husband in A Fine Romance. Tragically he died of Aids. He was one of my best friends.'

The Ashes

Into the spider's web and stone of
past the Daffodil cinema,
into the sleet
towards your favourite place,
on the day we left you for the

Down familiar roads,
maps drawn heavy in the mind,
the lines of childhood unsmudged,
your brother rattling memories on
speed -
where the tree house formed
an ark in the Yew tree,
a hidey hole by the Holly bush,
in 61 the flooded fields iced over
for you to skate the Cotswolds.

We ford the mud-filled, wet-filled
the Severn banks collapsed,
a racing, river road
collapsing trees and sky and us,
us three,
the friend, the lover, the brother,
our faces wet with flooding.

We stand before the Elephant tree
and pour you out,
from our palms where we held you
we pour you out
like spice, like adding salt,
we put you to the liquid earth
in the flooded wetlands of your

And through the rising deep,
across the seascape fields,
the waters covered the face of
the earth
and the Ark sailed on towards us.

(Copyright © Susan Penhaligon 2012)


DRF said...

He was adorable in If

Nessie said...

Affecting poem - does Susan mean "We ford the mud-filled, wet-filled
fields"? Ford? I'm always learning something.

Anonymous said...

How wonderful. Susan Penhaligon is such a fabulous actress. She should be on TV more. I loved the poem.

Anonymous said...


Chloe said...

I wonder what a graphologist would make of Richard's signature. The two names are linked by a squiggle on the d in Richard. Perhaps it indicated a rebellious tendency.

Crim Hack said...

Can't believe this cunt site is still going. Clearly I'm going to have to do something.

Anonymous said...

Simply beautiful...a lovely tribute.