Pastel shades, gold, and scarlet,
splendid in the evening light,
the simplest shades.
The room, largely decorative
with plumes
of grey and black and blue.
They called it a masterpiece,
the papers,
and the writer, genius, and collector
of textiles and pottery,
declared it a success, his wallpaper
a unique blend of colour and life,
depicting adventures from Africa,
with lion skins and giraffes
coupled with Anglo French draperies
and materials from Indonesia.
And then the fire, a sombre candle
for his mother
on a writing desk, below the chintzes
from Liberty in London.
Alone now, in a boarding house,
antiquities lost, but not forgotten.
When you have nothing left,
you have nothing left to lose – they say.