Dreaming of Nina,
First Lady of Fitzrovia
by John Stocks
Darling of the left bank cafés
Chameleon; queen of Bohemia
I met you in the Fitzroy tavern
Your charisma sizzling like
A spirit dance; celestial dream.
A penny for your gas, Nina
To carry your torch of liberation
Beyond the bone stews, freezing beds
The electric charge of passion
The nuances, your nonchalant gaze.
A life of debauched illusion
By the crackle of the gaslight
You will grow hungry for your art
Only charity keeping you alive
And layers of the Daily Herald.
Explosive, gin-sodden, wrapped in silks
Dancing with wild flamboyance
You will order the finest champagne
Laughing in the face of Crowley’s
Desperate, diabolical desires.
You rock the world with your passion
Explode the myth of homemaker
Rip holes in the webs of deceit
In a shock of new imagination
Like an emissary from the future.
You were born out of your era
A sixties icon you lived
Forty years before your time
Chasing shadows of meaning
Fleeting teases of equality.
I see you now, ravaged by passing,
Slipping desperately from the light,
Beauty fading into autumn
Your inspiration dimmed
By encroaching twilight.
And this is how I shall leave you
The fantasy world of Bohemia
Fading from colour into sepia
In the blink
Of a falling star.