Fascinating picture hang wasn't there something about the Tally Man when we were hard up when I was a kid !!-'no my mum's not at home!' -----Original Message----- From: Poetryetc: poetry and poetics [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Lawrence Upton Sent: 22 January 2015 15:02 To: [log in to unmask] Subject: apologies again for being late Elidius I watched one tallying today. By the dock. He was superb; managing three boats, five men, with a charcoal stick against the white-washed stone. Each of the labourers had a different pace, doubtless intending to outwit him; he was good. He saw, I guess, a line that no one drew, a line for each man working. When each crossed their line, he marked it, black on white, boldly, dividing attention, without it slackening, like a fisherman landing prey or guards on watch; and at the fifth in every case, he cut through the previous four, like one harvesting with a scythe, in one movement which could only be extended to mark uprights elsewhere as fast and as dexterous as boys at harps. Only now I think he was left-handed. They wanted to cheat him. They didn't dare. He took no part in further operation. The counted sacks, crates and bottles were snatched by other men, whom I assume owned them, as a mouse or familiar takes what it can get.