Mr Justice Raffles

August 11, 2015 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | PETER'S WRITING | 0 Comments |

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.

By Lotto (photo Sailko)

By Lorenzo Lotto (photo Sailko)










Your Honour shouldn’t worry; those who matter

Think you sound –

On the right side, just, of inadequate on damages

They’ve found,

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.

Ferenc Ujházy, Before the Judge (photo

Ferenc Ujházy, Before the Judge (photo

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.

Jozsef Rippl-Rónai, In Front of the Court (photo Szilas)

Jozsef Rippl-Rónai, In Front of the Court (photo Szilas)

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.

Assistant to the Judge of Hell , B.M. (photo Marie-Lan Nguyen)

Assistant to the Judge of Hell , B.M. (photo Marie-Lan Nguyen)















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.

By Gerard David

By Gerard David (Source, Lukas, ‘Art in Flanders’)


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