Tea at Furlongs, By John Arnold

John now lives in Suffolk, but remains an active member of the Society as he has been for many years. This poem was selected for inclusion in Folio #72 in 2018.

Tea at Furlongs
1939. After Eric Ravilious, 1903-1942

Even as I painted, I knew
it was about to end:

the tea things laid for two 
on your garden table;

beyond the old flint wall,
a field of corn ripe for harvest.

The Southdown scarp reared up
into a still blue sky,

but read like a world up-ended,
its contents sliding into hell.

We clung on while we could.
I panicked, cheated Tirzah,

screwed Helen then Di.
But now those days are spent...

Dear Peggy, when you write
please lie, convince me

that the corn is still ungathered
and the table's set for tea. 
 

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