In my studio Pinocchio will chat
with Chinaman: my picture is the proof of that;
Hanuman with cheerful saw-toothed grin
converses with a gaudy bulge-eyed jinn.
A shadow prince from Bali seems to spy
through decorated pink Venetian eyes.
And speckled starlings twitter from a roof
in Albury or Guildford, their giant size the proof
that in my art perspective often lies.
I was born in Ilford under post-war skies:
the Rooster’s year: a hare flees past as in a dream.
Though the Guildford Angel’s gone from the High Street
she flies on the White Horse on starry nights
or dances with the Scholar in her airy flight.
Grave Chessmen stand divided by a peacock knife.
My paintings give small Creatures their own life.