Duke Of Earl

The year is 1962.

The place is Lake Baptiste

up in the Kawarthas.

Four twelve-year old

boys are paddling and singing

Duke of Earl to the rhythm

of their strokes, exhausted

tiny voices on the lake.

They have been told

they are going to David Milne’s

cabin, the famous painter.

When they get there it’s a ruin,

half-filled with porcupine shit.

Years later, at a show

of Milne’s prints, I am drawn

not to the prints but to the plates

goudged and scored across

So they can’t be repeated,

and every time I see one

of those finely etched landscapes

I remember, not the waves,

or the sunlight or the voices,

or all the lost memories,

but Gene Chandler’s voice,

the way it soars above.

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2 comments
  1. Tony Kelly said:

    Postprandial, we’ve just been introduced to the Duke of Earl:poem, etchings, and voice. Absolutely wonderful. Thanks. tk

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