Tom Richardson – Interrogation

05 Feb 2018 / #Arvon50

Old poetry book on a wooden table


Back last March, I wrench myself
from domestic cosiness of my eighty-first year,
and travel. Arriving at a house,
high above mill-chimneyed-river,
( listen, ardent cock pheasant calls ),
a place of writing Apprenticeships,
I meet a tall dark Master, a man whose
fine tweed coat hangs luxuriously around him.

[ I need to tell you, if you have not guessed,
that all my life, I have scorned those
whom the fortune-teller gulls.
I know that any prediction, credible
as you like, is an intuitive guesswork,
fashioned from the seer’s experience
and baffled self-belief.]

So, we greet, each sounding out the other.
Upon learning my age, he asks simply,
“What is your plan for the next twenty years, Tom?”
Astonished, I can reply only,
“What great question, David. Thank you!”

Now, as I stumble forward, a future hovers;
my life embodying forth his foresight.


-Tom Richardson


Arvon turned 50 in 2018 and to celebrate we have collected the stories of writers far and wide who have a tale to tell about Arvon. The collection is published in our anniversary booklet and featured on our blog. This contribution is by Tom Richardson, prompted by a moment at the very beginning of his Arvon course. 


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