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RONNIE GOODYER

 

Gosford Green, Back Then

 

 

Phillip, with his University of Warwick politics,

so free from responsibility that he could live

for his ideals and have a solution to the world's

ills. Perfection often came from tyrants, he

told us. Never pre-judge just from what we

read in westernised sanitised history. Be the

Bolivian peasant, the worker building the

enclosures that would eventually bar him.

 

Becky's tongue would lightly run between the

gummed edges and squeeze together the two

papers. She would fill this with Virginia on the

laminate of her study-book and conversation

would continue but all eyes would follow her   

fingers; rubbing brown-black resin along the  

length, then lifting and folding, the tongue

glistening again to finally seal; one end twisted,

held and shook. Only then would we look up.

 

Siobhan would tell us that the protest singers

were just fake, singing of oppression and poverty

while lining their pockets, soaking up gullible

and impressionable fools, like Phillip, like me.

Don't buy the mock anger, read The Grapes

Of Wrath then decide or remain indolent.

But there's entertainment and beauty in

compassion too, we'd argue. And it wasn't

all protest. It was love and awareness too 

and Suzanne had changed our concept of

what could be performed as music and the

Gates Of Eden could even change lives.

 

All around, just by the road, the solicitors'

offices threatened, awaiting referrals from

neatly positioned estate agents. The smoke

was free for us and held in our lungs until

released to discolour the clouds, lazily-hanging

perfume, the taste exquisite, unmistakable.

Becky asked us to explain just what was so

great about  a poet who permanently begged

money, who stole suits and pissed the bed.

It was the perfect time to answer.

The green's metal railings successfully held

the world at bay, the street sounds diminished,

the bird-song enhanced. The girls heard the

music and held each other in dance. We just  

lay in the sun, watched their dancing legs,

creased hems and flowered pants as they  

revolved above us, happy in the union. Four 

figures in a perpetual summer, Pinot Grigiot 

on the grass, the scene panning higher until

merging into trees contained within an oval

of green, an oasis in the heart of the city.

 

 



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