Ghostly Images Covered in Dust

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Professional photographer thrilled,

boxed images abandoned on windowsills:

numerous delicate glass negatives;

silent past generations of relatives,

ghostly images covered in dust;

hippo-hipped ladies, large in bust,

parasols held in genteel hands –

behind them Mount Ievers grandly stands.

joke

Kneeling in south hall, working late,

carefully copied, three hundred plates:

big house history preserved,

previous occupants observed:

big dogs pulling bathchairs,

children not destined heirs;

family picnics, staff standing stiff,

(absent political threat, burning whiff).

Dark plates depict old residence,

monotones of Georgian elegance:

light through negatives burned,

life-breath to the long-dead returned,

– much family history to discuss,

Landed Gentry’ – but little fuss;

archival photos provoke these rhymes,

Victorian voices speak to present times.

GN relatives

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