paul griffiths


✱✱✱✱✱  ✱✱✱✱✱  ✱✱✱✱✱✱✱✱
1819 – 2019






An alarm shakes me awake as a chill sun rises here in – where am I? Munich? Warsaw? San Michele? Limerick? Salamanca? All are similar: charmless musicians, rehearsal in an archaic hall, a crass cellarman hauls in a merciless Wallachian wine (he mimes we share a chalice!), an immense Russian wrecks a Marini aria. When will I learn? As usual, all nine celli in Herr Scharwenka’s Wassermusik are a minim askew. I rerun scales as each wearies in search…. We reach a ramshackle surcease. I release an inner scream. Amen.
— Which is where I see him. He smiles. I run: I clear a chasm. He claims me, enchains me near him in such warm shackles. I kiss his cheeks; I smell his hair. He is as he was when we were in Wales, in an inn in – can I recall such a name? – ah, Llanwrch! Welsh cakes! Cawl! A measureless summer! I see he wears, as when we saw Huw Williams as Lear in Swansea, his new mules. We walk arm in arm in silence. We swim in a calm sea. His muscular crawl carries him as much as a mile. He calls names. ‘Marie!’ ‘Elise!’ I hear his cries, weaker, weaker.