Windows on the world
(published in "Rogate & Terwick News" December 2006)
A tribute to Sir John Betjeman in his Centenary Year
~ and to that wonderful Downland road that leads from nowhere to nowhere
Miss K Lovett-White, Miss K Lovett-White
So lovely by day, so lovely by night.
What wonderful, breathtaking journeys we took,
I drove you to
One year we kept driving and ended in
We lingered in
But my favourite journey was bringing you home.
When we came back to
With a stretch of your arm and your back and your thigh,
I slowed down to savour the flavour of you,
Flaxen hair flowing on the A two-seven-two.
Those overseas memories started to fade
As soon as we entered a
With the ducks on the duck pond at Wisborough Green
And the locals and yokels outside The Queen.
Oh merry old
With the meat and two veg and a pint of warm beer.
And you in your gingham, a smile on your face
And me by your side like a three-legged race.
We dawdle past scenes of your triumphs of yore
The golf course at Cowdray where you bellowed “fore!”
You strode down the fairways, relaxed and at ease,
The only girl there who played off the men’s tees.
And polo at Midhurst, what bliss! Oh what joy!
Astride your young pony you rode like a boy.
I watched from afar near a thicket of gorse.
Oh lucky your captain! Lucky your horse!
And so past the church by the river at
Up the hill, round the bend, you kick off your shoe,
The sun’s going down on the two-seven-two.
I pull into your drive with the fading of light,
Beside me, eyes closed, Miss Kate Lovett-White.
I sit there in silence. You rouse from your doze.
You yawn and you smile and you wrinkle your nose.
I break the enchantment and open your door.
You step onto the gravel. The end of our tour.
You graciously say “thanks awf’ly, old chap.”
I say “you’re most welcome” and touch my peaked cap.