The flat was in Rue Montmartre as I recall,
a sequence of pictures hung upon a wall
that explained the meaning of time;
photos in black and white of geometric shapes,
unusual shapes that held the eye, disturbed the eye.

I sat in a corner café much concerned,
ran back to find a tenant now installed,
a face I barely recognised at first,
to whom I would explain once and for all,
the meaning of those pictures on the wall.

I failed to make him understand a thing
of how as a totality all exists,
and screamed: ‘Just let me see them one last time’,
ran into the room to find them gone
and in their place instead, but lately hung,
the portrait of a mother holding child.

‘Too late,’ I said. ‘I’ve come here far too late.’

Now in my head I tread forever more,
the dingy inner stair, first up, then down,
in vain, not getting anywhere at all.

The flat was in Rue Montmartre as I recall.

5 thoughts on “Pictures

    1. A few years ago my wife and I stayed in an apartment in Paris, the stairs reminded me very strongly of one of Escher’s never-ending staircases. I drew also on the idea of all time being “eternally present” in T.S. Eliot’s “Burnt Norton”. I have to say I’m slightly baffled by it myself! The mother/child motif I think denotes the transcending power of love that has somehow eluded the speaker. If you find out what it all means, oldmainer, please let me know.


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