Deco Decorum

Janina Aza Karpinska

As a young man he developed a taste for

art deco artefacts – attracted by their

geometric designs; curvaceous furniture,

and dressers that displayed, to good effect,

cups and saucers, and bric-a-brac,


collecting as much as he could

from markets over decades;

seeking the distinctive cut

of angled mirrors that would

beautifully reflect the myriad of mottled

glass lampshades hanging in every room

of his cherished home-emporium.


It long became his custom to observe

each evening after supper, a hallowed ritual:

dressed in maroon silk smoking jacket;

standing at a bird’s eye maple cabinet,

fixing Martini cocktails complete with

silver onion and olives on a stick.


Then, sitting in his fireside wing-seat,

feet propped on a stool of tooled leather,

he listens to the voice of a tenor sing,

from the phonograph in the corner,

a cautionary song that warns of

the unlit ways of life that lead to a broken heart.

Better one stay on the path that’s lit,

than stumble blindly and live with regret.


A tear escapes ~

creates a silver line ~

around his cheek and lip,

then drops, unseen,

on his immaculate lap.

JANINA AZA KARPINSKY is “an Artist and Poet, and an Artist-Poet, often combining the two; an M.A. in Creative Writing & Personal Development at Sussex University brought in a 3rd essential strand of interest: the therapeutic element. I have work published in several anthologies including ‘Poetry in the Waiting Room’; LAPIDUS Magazine (Literary Arts in Personal Development) and in several volumes that came of writing sessions at Brighton Museum & Art Gallery, based on the artefacts there; 1st prize in the Cannon Open Poetry Competition and highly commended in The Rottingdean Writers International Poetry Competition. I have also illustrated my own work in The 3rd Way and provided artwork for an anthology of work relating to mental health; ‘Warning! May Contain Nuts’. Performer; monologue writer; playwright & former community radio broadcaster. On the prowl for something new…”