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A British Monsoon

In lieu of a camera

In the park, at eight this morning
A men’s singles tennis match skids
Along wet asphalt, volleying
And far off commuters hiss
Their way to work
Through thick sky spray.
One, fat, wood pigeon
Takes a short-cut jacuzzi
To puddled bedragglement.

Sodden roses hum
An old show tune
Whilst bruised petals
Fading fast, fall…
As I walk,
At these sinful feet
My mud soles
Soil in my toes
From bringing in
barefoot 4 a.m. washing
As MC thunder interrupted
To announce the rains

We could use a bit of the wet stuff

The grass is turning a shade of golden brown round here. I don’t have to worry too much about that thankfully, because my annual ‘lawn’ growing never entirely banished the brown patches of stubborn earth this year. I blame all that snow in the spring – it held this gardener back *ahem*.

Anyway, I’ve had this picture in my mind’s eye for a few days now, so I am downloading it here to free up a bit of internal disk space in the old synaptic department. I think I have said before that I have never been too keen on Edgar Degas’ ballerina studies, but I certainly appreciate the technique. My antipathy is something to do with the creeping feeling of lechery with the ballerinas. Still, perhaps I am unfair on that. His output was largely dancers in the end, but this was because the market liked it and his family were strapped for cash. Degas’ overall body of work, if looked at simply as studies of unforced posture have something of the quality of the modern paparazzi – he captures natural attitudes and poses and it is that draws me in.

In this particular picture, Jockeys in the Rain, I don’t think the rain is as much of a success as the body language of the both the riders and the horses. The rain has to be there, to give some the hunched figures their proper context, but what comes through even more strongly, for me, is the horses. The way the ones in the foreground hold themselves, the look in their eyes and the flare of the nostrils tells me that they are not so concerned about the rain soaking their flanks, rather that they are anticipating the off. The rain has to be there, but it’s not really what all this is about.

Jockeys in the Rain ~ Degas