4 NOVEMBER 2000, Page 59

As Rain Pours Down

As rain pours down on this prefabricated hut, With nothing better to do, I turn on the radio: Wagner. Oh well. Dusk gathers and I see the chestnut Once fiery with bloom has started to yellow.

I find a photograph album and start leafing through it: Fondling pets; a girl in a bikini; at a nursey school In Africa a fezzed conjuror; a boy acting a big hit With a cricket bat; someone (who is it?) playing the fool On a punt at Henley; that nice young couple kissing, Mutually nasty now. And all instantly happy to know They'll be remembered thus. Nothing of hope is missing Or trust. But the animals are dead; the grinning show Has a swindled look. Tristan meanwhile makes a rare old fuss; Hate to love's summit in death's embrace. Not like us.