(for Alan and Alison)
There never was another evening like it.
The festival over, the long wet day’s fading,
the young couple invited an older quartet
plus a handful of others as their guests
to the long white caravan atop a hill
set among a micro-climate’s rattling palms.
We went by car there through warm rain,
autumn rain, and a wild neurotic wind.
Days of poetry behind us beside
the beautiful rhyming bay, sea-slapped,
licked by innumerable fish and shadowed by
cloaked-clouds that floated high before
marching down the grey and restless sky.
Our hosts, ingenuous as a teetotal couple
innocent of drunken form, made every effort,
both warm and simple, to please. And while
rain drummed on the caravan’s roof, wet
fingers on white keys; and the cat-like wind
demanded ingress at each small window
of the vaguely trembling hired home,
with a sincerity startling as truth in our hosts,
the home-made party welled a special warmth
making one of life’s unforgotten evenings.