164z Badinage 1, 15th August 2018

`Le Badinage’ sketch 1, by Jac May, illustration for the poem 14th August 2018.  Two young chaps sit on the wall above the river in Chinon.  Badinage = idle, inconsequential chatter.  This poem – a first version, and this being a first stab at a sketch to go with it – was inspired by the wonderful piece of music of this name by Marin Marais.  You can listen to a terrific version of this music at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gBLu0KQF80U


  1.       I am not famous for my dancing

however, I feel utterly alive

sitting in my corner considering the wonders of the earth

and the glories of the day,

the aspirations of my life

(also, let me say, the beauty of my wife

the Arts that strew my way

and the mind’s constant rebirth).

I feel utterly alive.


Others set off fireworks,

hurl themselves into contortions of ecstatic dance

(I will always be glad of it,

always encourage you)

the beat of the music makes them move

and a melody transports them to a place

where ………………. etc

you can climb onto ancient monuments

and deck the dullest civic utilities

with brightly coloured flags and banners.

You with leaping joy do festival

and all the while I sit here

transfixed to the chair

by thoughts that will not let me go,

may even close my ears and eyes

to hear more profoundly the surge of bars

and see more clearly cascades of luminosities.

Dancing paralyses me.


I did try to dance,

but my feet step on my best intentions,


auditions, envisagings, imaginings and all my

crises of apprehension.

My intention

is not to be sullen or to fall by

the way of Life and true elation.

I am simply in a dream.

This is the story of my whole life,

left alone inches above the dance floor

of this burning Earth

abandoned to the antics of unchoreographed, crazy, leaping



Jac May, totally unfinished badinage, August 2018!

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