Roger Harvey

A Bit of Glamour

Collecting me from school in the big car
“Look at Harvey’s mother smoking cigars!”
I was happy to be taken away
into my cosy, fragrant world, so far
from brutish schoolboys and cold games,
where home and holiday excited me.

“I’ll give Bardot a run for her money
‒even if I never look like her,”
My mother drove from Nice to St Tropez,
barefoot in that holiday’s Wolseley,
hot lipstick on her Spanish cigarillo.
Later she threw off her dress just to say
she drove the Grande Corniche in a bikini:
a little tight in the relentless heat,
but going topless was never her style.
“You need clothes for a bit of glamour.”

She chose them well for Foxtrot and Quickstep,
then loved relaxing with a Café Crème
by Henri Wintermans; the Dutch cigar
was perfect with a coffee and her dreams.

Those times were her idea of earthly bliss.
(Didn’t believe in Heaven; never could).
“The fun is all down here; go for it, boy.
Nothing wrong with a bit of glamour.”

Poet, novelist and scriptwriter Roger Harvey, born 1953, and lives in Newcastle. He took a degree in Law and worked as a teacher of English, History and Drama before becoming a full-time writer. He was the first poet to read on BBC Radio 1 and was sometime Editor of Poetry North-East magazine. His published works include the historical novels and Poet on the Road, an intimate travelogue of his poetry-reading tour across the U.S.A. His other interests include music, photography, walking, and classic cars.