Saturday 10 September 2016.
Last evening after returning home from our holidays, we attended a parish get together to celebrate William Shakespeare’ 400th. It was all a bit rush as we had forgotten our promise to do a “turn” upon the village hall makeshift stage, the floor to be precise, and after consuming the usual sausage rolls, dodgy eggy delights and a can of the trusty speckled hen, I was called to perform.
As the previous ‘star turns’ had kept in keeping with the Bard theme, I had thought I would perform a take on his works, considering I never studied Shakespeare at school, ever, tonight’s foray, with a little tuition from YouTube and with dust in my throat and a severe case of the nervous dispositions, I stationed myself on the marker on the floor next to a musical lectern, (to be honest, I think it was a coffee stain) and held on tight to my written parchments, adjusting the position of my soles …. and trying not to make eye contact with any of the critics …….
The first piece was of course, a Sonnet, number XVIII, fourteen lines of goobledy gook and to be precise, and it went a little not like Richard Burton would have …
(cough, cough, excuse me) … adjusts spectacles!
“Shall. I. compare thee. to. a. summer’s-day?
Thou art more lovely, and. more. temperate:
Rough winds. do shake. the darling buds ….. of May,
And summer’s lease, hath all, too short. a date:
Sometime. too hot. the eye of heaven. shines,
And often. is his. gold, complexion, dimmed,
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance, or nature’s changing, course. untrimmed:
But thy eternal, summer. shall. not. fade,
Nor. lose possession. of that fair. thou owe’st,
Nor. shall death. brag thou. wander’st, in his, shade,
When. in eternal. lines to time. thou growe’st,
So long. as men. can breathe, or eyes. can see,
So. long. lives. this, and this, gives life. to thee”.
I finish, and am met with great applause from the lovely audience, a small intimate group, lesser wouldn’t fill half the front row of a West end Musical theatre. I continue, so, as a modern-day tribute to the Bard himself, I select a composition I wrote last year, a letter, of which “Paul writes to the ninth month of the Gregorian Calender” …. shaking like the last leaf on a tree, and holding on tightly to my invisible friend, I start my first public oration.
My dearest September,
I can see just how well you are ….
Your beauty tells me, so,
let me take this opportunity to thank you, yet again, for a perfect month.
you bring me birthday greetings, … with cake!
Beautiful sunsets, the warmth from friends conversation and the great calmness of getting older.
And watching the progression of Mother Nature,
as she starts her transition to a different season.
Your waves come to greet me from the East,
and show me how they can do tricks with extremes of strength, and high jumps into the air.
They spray their might, up into the sky,
grasping the remains of the sun-lit rays,
before pulling them down, deep, deep into the briny depth.
It shows no fear, has no agenda or script,
and beats anything in its path that isn’t bolted down.
The low morning sun peeks into my courtyard,
and bounces her infinite rays off the shining glitter ball on the tree.
Showing no shame, she sneaks through the horizontal blinds and send blasts of inert energy which disperse silent imps of light, all through the house.
Fresh breezes start to dampen down early to late afternoon,
and your shadows lengthen,
beyond any reasoning.
Occasional smokey whiffs,
the scent of a chimney lit,
an aged person,
rub our hands, in front of a drawing hearth.
We try hard to remember, how many times this ancient ritual of making fire has been completed, and in doing so we laugh to ourselves.
The sun sets much faster every evening now,
and by tonight,
the extended arm of heat retracts even more.
Local folk talk of Indian summers and sit late into the day,
they watch the sunset fall behind the moorland hills, whilst the intense rays of the sun heats their face with closed eyes.
Quiet conversation and small talk are answered with contented humms and laughter, memories of years past are screened, with perfect clarity inside ones head.
It’s time to say goodnight dear September and dear friends,
for tomorrow is nearly October,
and you WILL greet me, AND others,
with shrouds of sea mist, cold air, and many beautiful things.
For now good people,
it’s time to sleep,
and let’s celebrate another day,
and if i don’t awaken,
I WILL remember,
that my beautiful September would have been my chosen month.
Apparently, it was well received, (knocks back a stiff one)
Paul Stamp Sept 2016 (amended)