His Honour writes his judgments like a crime novel;
Resemblance to the dead or living is coincidental;
You joined the Law Society –
Defended with due piety
The ineffectual thing –
Raised no more than your profile.
Cold rictus from the sand dune’s sting,
By inches, so you burned
To set rump on throne, and have it said ’twas earned.
Invested, outed, by and by,
Always the bad guy,
Chained by secrets and precedent,
Liver corroded by time, and spent
Lapping the waves of the future,
Colder then warmer the groove of the suture;
A Judge must not deign to sit overlong –
S/he has licence to do right, or wrong
And not ape the players but play the ump,
Rodin-like on gilded stump.
Your Honour shouldn’t worry; those who matter
Think you sound –
On the right side, just, of inadequate on damages
On sentence excessive but not manifestly so,
The chin may shine from butter but melts so very slow.
The driver drops you at La Temptresse,
You won’t be back in court today.
Your corner with old, red, fuzzy seats
Where, sunk in suit of eccentric pleats
Grins a middling, aged solicitor,
His back to the wall but not the door,
For the sight of walls he will eschew,
Much preferring the harbour view.
Medicinal smiles and hefty drops,
Livid cork from a bottle pops,
Vivid talk over sturdy port,
Circles on the tablecloth mimic thought:
Who’s having whom, and where?
Who’s ethical balls are in the air?
How in the world did he bury that
With trust account bare and trodden flat
And only Dore, through the din
Could draw that pit to wallow in.
Eros trumps Psyche, Judge lurches to feet,
Hitting the bricks, savouring the street,
Head clear of alcohol but ears like two balloons
Filled with friend’s advice, ‘save screwing for afternoons.’
He enters via back stair, deposits cares and fear,
A session is in session, the young are old hands here
And let-out no doubt of a sure outlet, a practical outcome
Where submissions are made without respect, all, not some,
Since His Honour’s significant passed on it has been tough
To carry on a conversation, hence the call to do his stuff.
Over the Judge’s green and stately paths
Soughs a gentle, erratic evening wind,
On feckless sundials, elaborate birdbaths
And Raffles J tosses, the great tamarind
Casts a dancing shadow on the noble forehead,
Cupids in jaunty perukes about the eyelids,
A foggy room of law, full of murk and vapour,
He is in the raised chair.
Rows of men silkily incline their heads
But now they grab at his crimson threads!
And a challenge is made, a dare to interrupt
The naked, wizened, bony dollop, the corrupt.
Yet His Honour won’t escape this awful dream
For he lives it daily, constant and supreme.