Four movements towards you

A room piled high
With books and old money
Other men’s poems, a flower
Reflecting coming comforts of you
Shining straw haired
Glowing like a honeysuckle
On a summer’s night






Run through the dew of cloud-flecked days
And I will run to you
Bare your teeth to the lonely moon
And we will laugh the night to morning
And rise in love like the sun in splendour

Cry with the rain for dead butterflies
But feed the tenderest moments
From hiding under tattered umbrellas
Of spattered-leaf trees
Breast high amidst the perfumes of rain
And perhaps of love





I had not forgotten
Nor did I quite despair
I could stick no sign upon the door
But merely wait
And rise with unknown joy
At your return
And ask
“Please stay”

Stephen Kay alias Sigi or Sigmund c. 1968

When I first arrived in Buckingham, I suppose it was the autumn of 1968, I joined a conservative, traditional grammar school in a an “ancient and loyal borough”. Little had changed in aeons and the swinging sixties were far away, well, six miles down the road in Winslow. Winslow seemed far more cutting edge both artistically and politically. One of the subjects that filled my timetable was “General Studies” for the sixth form. It was meant to add breadth to our students, to make them a little more rounded as individuals – to scatter the spice of science on those of an artistic bent and to humanise those regarded as limited by laws, proofs and mere numbers. As taught by a gauche teacher fresh from Uni. I doubt if it achieved its aim but it worked in reverse, giving the teacher a greater insight into the minds of the next generation.

One of the students who passed through my lessons was Stephen Kay. For me, it was a bit like meeting a leader of a sect with his followers. Stephen was tall, bright and culturally aware. His aliases promulgated that : SIGMUND ( to the wider world) or SIGI (with his disciples and acolytes). Have a look, below, at the faded cover of a little volume of poems that was published by his near contemporary, the late John Close. Revolution was afoot on John’sCAXTON PRESS”. Note the precocious quotation from Ezra Pound (an author unknown, I fear, in Buckingham) and the shy dedication to Basil Bunting, a modernist poet who had started to become a name only after the 1966 publication of Briggflats.

Then what? After RLS, Stephen Kay disappeared from our view, over our horizon. Some say that he found work with an Opera company, others are less sure. Are there Old Latins who remained in touch with our  Sigi, the guru of Young Winslow? Where is he now? Please tell!



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