Theatre groups always construct a ghost: new post from The Hurst writer-in-residence

12 Sep 2013 / The Hurst

view of the clockhouse with scaffolding

Theatre Groups

Occasionally someone will say
that the main house has a cold and unfriendly feel
and that it’s John Osborne.
Theatre groups
move all the furniture,
become convinced it’s ghosts.
More than any other,
theatre groups
will hear the noises in the pipes.

Poem created by words from Dan Pavitt,
The Hurst Administrator

deb chair

Blue Study

John you’ve gone

but if I were to sing a note in your room,
to raise my voice to join
those other voices;
to Helen’s, singing at the stove,
drinking and less bleak when alone;

If I were to raise my voice,
with Ed and Pete – so similarly tall, blonde, attractive,
no-one could remember which one was which –
to their stentorian, theatrical throats,
harmonious with Helen’s wavering notes;

If I were to raise my voice,
after Kerry and the Silver Fox’s –
cosmopolitan, confident –
singing of other homes loved,
the room echoing it emptily back;

If I were to raise my voice
to Dan’s steady, pounding the hills,
singing still,
Illona, light and soaring,
and Ruth and Ruth and Ruth;

and so many others, John,
a chorus,
drowning you out.
Well this is what I would sing.

 

The Name

Quick! They’ve given us the loot,
but they’re not handing it over unless we have a name.
They need it right now.
There was a book open on his desk and he grabbed it.
The Mabinogian. Page 426, the Notes.
In a séance like voice he began to mutter,
Talesian, Chief of the Bards;
Caerlleon upon Usk, Rhegyd, Bangor Teivy,
the son of Gwydion, in Arllechwedd, Arvon…
He looked up, Arvon, he repeated.
Which was a relief to me,
because Arllechwedd could have been a mouthful,
Arvon he said it again on his way to the phone.
An enrichment leapt unbidden from my tongue,
Fairfax, a little breathless,
pronounced down the phone,
We have it, a name: the Arvon Foundation.

Words taken from The Founding of Arvon by John Moat, 2005

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