Saturday, June 29, 2013

Island Home

I wish I could walk the track
back to my old island home.
Retreat to childhood haunts -
beech wood forests full of birds and briars
and the fantasy thrill of bears
living in the root rooms
made from fallen trees.

I'd wander from the village,
along the lane,beside the sea loch,
its greedy mouth
full of black rock teeth,
sucking sea and sea life
through its narrow gorge.

At the gate, the portal to day dreams,
I'd find my wellies in a bush,
and trudge down the track,
into the wood, past a bit that always smelled
of almonds. I never knew why.

Where the forest had not ventured,
a meadow, scattered with wild flowers,
and butterflies wove colours in the air,
and around the bend a small bridge
which gave way to the shore,
all mud and seaweed and seagulls
standing ankle deep,
their beady eyes, heartless.

And on the horizon were floating islands,
their unstable appearance
an optical illusion,
their names always alluring -
The Dutch Man's Cap, Eigg,
Canna, Muck and Rhum.

For a moment I am there.

(bird, unstable, bend, retreat, bridge, wild, rock, bear, lane, fallen, meadow, island)

Monday, June 10, 2013

Praca da Alegria , in Lisbon Wordle 112

Piss-stinking tramp
on the steps of the park
stops us at the curb,
his smell like a wall,
his voice spewing
through crumbled, rotting teeth.
We recoil from his filth
and the rest of his decay,
but from my heart
spills pity and dismay.
This man was a baby once
with smooth, perfect skin.
One day the thunder
took him away
rolled in a storm barrel.
The shimmering hope
that makes life livable,
that gives us status and aims,
was swilled and spat out
in jets through toothless gaps.
All sense of self
got struck off the page
once kept just for him.
Now this park is his yard
and we are both
potential providers
and proof of a heartless world.

*Praรงa da Alegria, which translates as Happiness Square, is a small, pretty square in the centre of Lisbon, where we were for the weekend, and where we came upon this man of misfortune.

(Status, park, rest, thunder, spill, steps, shimmering, yard, page, jets, spewing, curb.)