Toasting a Muse


One man who came to dinner
wouldn’t eat,
just focused on his hostess
instant eloquent devotion.
He’d stand and say, as if proposing
a toast, I speak this in your honour,
ma’am, you are so beautiful,
then chant some passionate verse,
and sit and drink some more
until the spirit moved in him
again, then stand and say
You are so beautiful et cetera
and do another item.
Funny fellow. Poet. Mad as hell.

I been there, sort of.
For in that ambience I too
was smitten, by what seemed
to me unusual radiance,
beauty of spirit lighting up the place,
but I kept quiet about it, made small talk,
stayed sober, and enjoyed the food.

from I been there, sort of: New and Selected Poems (Carcanet, 2006), copyright Mervyn Morris 2006, used by permission of the author and the publisher.

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