A Poem for Sherlock Holmes and Dr John Watson
“So I deduce,” a start –
“A truce!” I called,
his hands up-held,
“Surely, Sherlock, some stain,
has given you unique detail,
and through some voodoo
only you do,
you’ve riddled me out,
you’ve found the clue, indeed!
In reflections upon wayward shoes.
But, tell me then, if you’re to read,
My comings and goings and deeds today
“Misdeeds, indeed,” he said, “I’ve seen,
I’m afraid you’ve lied to me again.”
“Misdeeds?” I laughed. “But Holmes…”
“You did not lie about the phone?”
“How could you know —
“Not answering – just banging on..”
“I was alone?”
“Because, my friend, I’ve called you, too,
You hate the phones, and more, the booths,
old fashioned aren’t we, stubbornly,
so instead of picking up a phone which rings,
you’d rather with a station’ry,
send a wire to me at Baker St.”
“How would you know I sent a wire?”
“Across the telegraph office,
for several days,
that Bakery has been ablaze,
and that soot, that ash, has put
the smell of smoke upon your boots.
You waited, watching, quite sad, too,
A man of letters, what do you do?
So full of feeling, and un-tethered,
you left the phone and took the ledger.
A wire you wrote, and for that smell,
does more than your voice to tell,
you stood stiff and bored and thinking,
“And what if I deduce your day,
Sherlock Holmes, monsieur, surely,
You woke to the ringing clock,
at dawn to listen to the docks,
A tincture first, and coffee, pleasant?
A little needle and brief heaven?
Then full of vigor, what to do?
Call on Mycroft, play the Sleuth?
Not now, for Mycroft has gone sour;
his Pall Mall lodgings dank and foul.
You read the paper, yes you did,
the agony column – scratch the itch;
and as you read that smut each day,
you callous up and draw away,
cocaine for dawn, morphine for day,
so excited by this violence
you’ve decided and invited
me to join you by your fire.”
“Clever, very much so,
The fire’s lit for something, true;
Pray tell me, Doctor, how does one do
what one does when one is you?
How often have you told a lie that through
the Strand did multiply,
and underneath such curious eyes,
You told the truth with utter lies!
“How do you, friend,
With just your pen,
your mind, and paper,
On this plot point and this plot string,
which seem to in the ether hang,
on each sweet knot we pick to fray;
Yet when to me, if truth be told,
It’s all apparent, boring, old!
And when I’ve caught them,
they may sing.
Of glories, sure, but such misdeeds!
The ones your readers love to read.”
“Let’s take a dogcart to the bridge,
and see who lands at 9;
for Watson this new crook of ours,
Imports much more than wine!
Put down your pen and grab your gun,
The fucking game’s afoot, Watson!”