Jacob Strengall, backstage at the Three Elves

Glad I decided against the tie, the polka dots.

That freelancer Houghton is covering the Festival.
I’ll buy him a pint during the break.
Doubtless he’ll bang on about his latest cricket book,
how well it’s selling in India.

I’ll start with an icebreaker. A dog poem.
Follow say with three poems about Wanda —
what went right then wrong.
I hear rumours about her —
migrated to far North Queensland,
living with Noel, an itinerant shearer…
volunteering in an orphanage in Kolkata,
managing a cattery in Edinburgh…
She was always restless,
going straight to the travel section
of any bookshop…

I’ll finish my set with a series of poems about objects —
a white ceramic tea strainer,
a colourful box of Epsom salts,
a small brass model of the Eiffel tower.

Where a person and their senses
find inspiration and comfort
intrigues me.
I’ll elaborate should Houghton suggest an interview.