Character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.
Camping in a kitchen
by Ivan Donn Carswell
To say we’ve done it all before is not to bend
the truth and though we’ve lost our youth
the vision of the bright contemporary kitchen
draws us on, sustaining us beyond our strength.
It’s all the donkey work that palls upon the weary joints,
the stripping off of stubborn tiles, the cupboards
with reviled veneer that peeled which lies in scraps
outside the kitchen door, the growing piles of rubbish
littered on the floor, the wall with timber joists exposed
and wiring hanging limp and going who knows where,
the plaster dust that settles in our hair, the sudden
realisation we aren’t even half way there while yet
we wait for tradesmen said to show today,
they’ll make us pay and pray and pay,
and shout hoorah, hip hip hooray, but still
the vision draws us on beyond our strength,
we’ll go to fevered lengths to have our kitchen
back with within the week, and as I speak the
phone is ringing, the electrician bringing bright relief,
he’ll drill his holes and string his wires within an hour.
We’ll hang and plaster panels on the walls this afternoon;
the plumber says he’s hot to trot for Monday morning.
It’s not at all that great a trial to bear although beware of
camping in a kitchen where you cannot boil a cup of tea.
© I.D. Carswell