Friday, 1 June 2012

Poem B


Chin-hugging, short-trimmed beard
Listens attentively
To two women
And turns behind
The Italian ladies
Sunglasses as weapons
Hide their eyes
Emotions concealed
Behind darkened visors
What are they thinking?

The boat turns at Lenno
Skims sun-dappled water
Whines with speed
As hydrofoil skis
Mock resistant water
We glide past a small town
Huddling the hillside
Tumbling to the water’s edge
Past beach huts
Pink – or salmon?
Parading for browning bathers
And green hills
On the train to Switzerland
Rolling and falling to the earth
Above which I tower
Lord of all I survey
Below the towns are specks
Mere houses clustered for warmth
Against encircling nature
Children’s voices from behind me
Red baseball caps balanced on growing bones
And their games, handclaps
How long ago it seems
Was I really so young?

A black dog lies down
Scratches languidly
Looks with idle curiosity
As the school group leaves
His eyes tell no story
Hold no mysteries

It is peaceful here now
Only flotsam and jetsam of chatter
Tickles the silence

This is how Switzerland is – and always will be –
The lethal calm always seducing

Purple t-shirt
Clothing a short beard and combed back hair
He has an opera look
A tenor face
He holds his lady
Who returns his attention
With promise eyes

As the mountain train snails down the track
Slithers to civilization
Passengers stare
And think of tea
Time is slipping and saving

Through my bones

Blue shirt
Silvery-grey hair and turned-down mouth
What has he seen
Or felt
That I have not done?
Has he loved as I have loved?
Has time filed its copy on his eyes?
The children sing   

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