Stephen Robertson

Slanting Lines


Tennison’s stream, we know, goes on for ever, his

poetry too to posterity speaks;

Joyce has his Liffey whose recirculation keeps

Finnegan going (despite it’s his wake)—

Beethoven’s music is just bloody marvellous,

resonates on though the print becomes faint;

just as each new generation soon finds itself

rich rediscovering Bach’s counterpoint—

frescos are fragile, but Piero’s perspective will

live on long after his colours have gone;

learning his lesson, the great Michelangelo

makes his work lasting by carving in stone—

me, I’m not looking for such immortality,

life after death would not be to my taste;

rather, look forward to final oblivion—

when the time comes, I might add, not just yet.