Mr Bleaney

Mr Bleaney - Notes


This was Mr Bleaney's room. He stayed

The whole time he was at the Bodies, till

They moved him. Flowered curtains, thin and frayed,

Fall to within five inches of the sill,


Whose window shows a strip of building land?

Tussocky, littered. 'Mr Bleaney took

My bit of garden properly in hand'

Bed, upright chair, sixty-watt bulb, no hook


Behind the door, no room for books or bags -

'I'll take  it.  So it happens that I lie

Where Mr Bleaney lay, and stub my fags

On the same saucer-souvenir, and try


Stuffing my ears with cotton-wool, to drown

The jabbering set jabbering set he egged her on to buy.

I know his habits - what time he came down,

His preference for sauce to gravy, why


He kept on plugging at the four aways -

Likewise their yearly frame: the Frinton folk

Who put him up for summer holidays,

And Christmas at his sister's house in Stoke.


But if he stood and watched the frigid wind

Tousling the clouds, lay on the fusty bed

Telling himself that this was home, and grinned,

And shivered, without shaking off the dread


That how we live measures our own nature,

And at his age having no more to show

Than one hired box should make him pretty sure

He warranted no better, I don't know.



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