What a Larkin

 At Grass

…..Yet fifteen years ago, perhaps
Two dozen distances surficed
To fable them : faint afternoons
Of Cups and Stakes and Handicaps,
Whereby their names were artificed
To inlay faded, classic Junes – 

Silks at the start : against the sky
Numbers and parasols : outside,
Squadrons of empty cars, and heat,
And littered grass : then the long cry
Hanging unhushed till it subside
To stop-press columns on the street. 

Phillip Larkin

Fifteen years ago ,we lived in the Happy Valley when we watched two dozen distances surficed to fable them. The race horses might have neighed at us in our Rose Court windows and galloped their numbered races. But they were not our fable .Nor were we the Happy Valley’s fable in Hong Kong .

I imagine the horses now having lost their fable to the younger ones in their old age. What a Larkin! We have lost our fable too.


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