C K Stead – Poem

Unusual Obsequies for Nicholas Tarling who died swimming In Shallowsleep, that life-of-the-mind that comes at three or four a.m., hearing big rain beat on the roof and spill from broken gutter to concrete path, and quoting to myself (faultlessly) a sonnet of a single sentence and great complexity by Willie Yeats, I promised I would call that comic-strip tradesman I had named, just to amuse you, Gutterfix. It was the day we’d buried Nick, historian, daily dipper, opera aficionado with song and stories of his gloomy wit. “Come to our aid, great Gutterfix” I sang in my opera voice, and

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