Thursday, June 23, 2011
French Champagne at 3 A.M. with the ghost of Jean Lafitte
He hangs his sword upon my chair and cordially takes a seat
Poe and Dickens grace my step at quarter past the hour
Timid Emily; Belle of Amherst arrives in white with flowers
The Bronte sisters come to call and sit with Miss Dickinson
A knock brings transcendental poets Thoreau and Emerson
Jack London follows with a bottle of John Barleycorn
Then C.S. Lewis; pipe in hand; a gentleman to manor born
Not far behind; Mr. Tolkien; the mystic fantasy prophet
Telling tales of Middle Earth and creatures he calls Hobbits
Rudyard Kipling now arrives via my invitation
He hated to leave his India but joins the conversation
Caravaggio brings some paintings that were lost at sea
The former Knight of Malta drapes his sword across his knee
Knowing the temperament of the two; as host, I collect the blades
But in gentlemanly gesture; from both, a bow is made
Lafitte makes some remark of Italy’s taste for war
Caravaggio returns, “The French know not what canvas is for”
Bemused, Lafitte replies, “I’ve used all mine for sails.”
“And mine for masterpieces” the painter quips and spreads his tails
And so till dawn the guests arrive like Mary and Percy Shelley
Mary reads from Frankenstein and then we fill our bellies
“A goose that would have made Scrooge quite proud!”
“The nose of the Boz knows”, then Charles asserts aloud
Poe, in deep and morbid thought exclaims, “We all are dead!”
No such rubbish and fantasy, not here; as you share my bread.
“But it seems I’ve lived before”, London says, “I’d make a bet.”
“Quoth the raven, “nevermore” but you live on as yet!
You spirits are my muses who gather here tonight
All chivalrous and talented, inspiring by the lamplight
“Well spoken intellectual, recall the sun rose clear.”
Thoreau thus spoke and Emerson joked, “It seems we too my dears.”
At this; the ladies giggled, and Emily said to me.
“I know how a wave must look; yet, I’ve never been to sea.”
Lafitte here offered to take her, upon his ghostly ship
But when again I looked around, her presence from our group had slipped
And so they faded; one by one; each with apparition smiles.
London was the last to leave, saying, I hear The Call of the Wild.
And as the sunlight filtered into my bedroom this morn
I was surprised to find two swords and a bottle of John Barleycorn