Gyrismó

Purple bougainvillea tumbling from baskets decorated our way
In those hours without shade in the hottest heat
We found a route to that other bay soon enough
With its crumbling Crusader castle cut from a cleft in the high valley
Guarding over the café, squared-off with bleached tarpaulins
Sitting like a brig roped to the quay, its skeleton crew manning the gangway
You sheltered at a table with red chequered cloth
A lemonade to hand, listening to the dulcet whispers of cypresses
As I walked out over the heavy stones into the impossible blue
Where I heard that dolphins play at sunrise

With an eye to the Sun’s shifting, we shook off this dream
Stumbled into the bright, cicadas burring louder still 
Untrusting of time, we chose a more direct path
Though paused to squint at the white-washed chapel on the cliff 
Before we cut between concrete-terraced allotments
Their rusted-wire fencing caging yellow trumpets of flowering zucchini
Fig trees fit to drop, propped, tied up; files of leeks with folded leaves.
Bees hurried by, leading us via lemon scents through an alley
To the square, where the old man limped from his coal-black cupboard of a corner-shop
To bring chilled beer and green olives to our off-balance, plastic table
Where we could watch the porters making ready for the ferry back.

.

n.b. www.napowrimo.net 2020: Day 30 prompt: Return.

Christopher Perry

30th April, 2020

Faithful Friend

My pet? Ah, yes

Stolid, Black Labrador with still vibrant, clumsy tail
We’ve seen some things, eh?
We’ve stuck close
Through thick, thin, thinner and thinning hair
We saw off them off with love
My departing children
We stood at the door side-by-side
As they left
One after the other, after the other

Saw him off too
With pots and pans, my best coffee mug
And your dumb, playful barking
But that wasn’t a game
Old pal
You great huggable, soppy, beast

Do you even know
That when you tugged covers from my bed
Desperate for me to let you out
(When I would have willingly laid
To drown in my own brine
Or sleep forever)
You saved my life
Do you even care that
Our walks together
Under these huge skies
Kept me alive

Now you, heavy with age
Less steady on your feet
Often slide to sit
Then sprawl and lie
Where you just happen to be
Hallway, dining room, or lounge
I’ve found you
Panting like a steam train
Letting you rest, recover
Or helping you up, bending double to lift your fat rear
Then guide you to water, or the yard
(You have been so good about that
Mostly)

You struggle to move
Until this one starts cooking
Oh! And then you’ll find strength enough
Despite the aches and pains
To get off the floor
Waddle out to him
Limp after his every step
Stand by him
Sniff his knee, lick his feet
Look up at him with affection
Through those milky-blind eyes
For hours
For what?

A morsel picked from the pan
A rough cut of carrot, split tomato
Dropped on the floor
For you to snuffle around
With your great wet nose
To slaver and slobber it up
Off the dusty floor

Look at you
Doddery, drooling
Pathetic old BITCH
This is how you repay my love?
Those veterinary bills
I could ill afford?

You wait ’til when he’s gone
And, believe me, he’ll go
He won’t stay long
His kind never do
He’ll move on
And then you’ll find, frail fool
You were just another whose heart he played

But don’t worry, honey
I’m not broke
I have been saving up
I’ve enough for one last cheque
You’ll find out soon enough
What betrayal costs

My pet.

n.b. www.napowrimo.net Day 29: Prompt: pet.

CLP 29/04/2020

Hotel 4**** (221 Reviews)

The lawn immaculate as Mary
The Cedar of Lebanon adorns the garden
Gifts of shade and shelter beneath its boughs
Verandah a place of repose
Guests read piously in wicker chairs
The chapel home to a magnificent pipe organ
Through stained-glass windows
Pews reverentially curve around the high altar
A place of celebration and prayer
A modest Christian retreat

I had arrived late, ruck sack dusty
At this Internet-located
Recommended overnight stop
Where you had checked-in earlier
Met with an eye-brow of surprise
That two guests with different chromosome compositions
And un-familial surnames
Booked just one room
Albeit a room allocated in the annex
Not in the elegant mansion house

A room located past the pond
Through the back of the garden
Up creaky stairs to an improvised corridor
Above the old stable block
With steps that go up a quarter-flight
Then down a half-flight
Past the showers and wash rooms
With wooden doors like slatted gates
That do not reach the floor

Our room is interesting
Wall striped-paper
Dazzling light bulbs
A handbasin
A wall mirror that reflects from my chest down
Two small single beds with sheets and blankets
Yards apart
A retreat from the time of Dunkirk?
No continental comforts here

You laugh at my crest-fallen face
The room, the short beds
Your hearty response lifts my gloom
The only proper reaction to this
Pre-booked, no-refunds, high season
Imagined romantic rendezvous
That belies its online presence

We went to supper down the town
Where a street fight starts
Between two groups of over-heated youths
Brawling outside the open window of the restaurant
I call for assistance and follow the barman out
He breaks it up with a strong voice and local knowledge of names and faces
We have finished our meal before the police arrive

All is done and dusted, the street long-empty
When we walk back under the early summer blossoms
Beside a stream running in the stone gutter, between the path and road
We climb stairs, chuckles renewed at this place
Choose not to move the beds together
The night is too warm, we too full of dinner
We kick off blankets and sleep

Until woken by blinding sunlight and inquisitive wasps
Nested outside the window
And now exploring the room
Which also vibrates with the heavy throb of diesel engines from day-trip coaches
With their cigarette smoking drivers coughing and comparing tachograph notes in high volume above the rumbles
While they wait for passengers keen for a pilgrimage
To a local pagan shrine, like Stonehenge, Silbury, Avebury, or Glastonbury Tor
Or perhaps just the Cobb at Lyme Regis, then Weymouth for the beach

“Not so funny now, is it?” I suggest
You lift an eyelid, shift sleepily from your bed
Slide yourself under my sheet
And wiggle up close, laughing again
Pointing out that the mirror is now just the right height

.

n.b. www.napoiwrimo.net Day 28 prompt: bedroom.

Christopher Perry

28th April, 2020

The Sun’s Set – A Review

So much consistent applause for this show

It seems almost clichéd to join in

But this is one that faultlessly runs day into night

Night after night

Responding fearlessly to the high pressure

Of repeat performances

With magical lighting

Sound effects delightful

Words cannot capture the exquisite beauty

Her Infinite variety of displays

Fearless artistic improvisation

Every evening

Leading her co-stars on stage

With the most brilliant first, Venus

Then too many to mention by name that follow

Except, the Moon

A sickle crescent now – 

Wait until she shines full

Happily, I would watch this every evening

.

n.b. www.napowrimo.net Day 27 prompt: Write a review in poem form of something that may not usually get reviews.

Christopher Perry

27th April, 2020

Present Tense

This brittle air in sun so low

Glints off flints flash hard

To retain the joy of childhood

As manners evolve in new-formed slow queues

Found on familiar streets

Beside the sign, Stay Home, don’t be SHelfish 

Outside the closed café that specialised in crab sandwiches, 

That added by hand, by night

Lightens this dull conspiracy of compliance

In which all have dressed down

Even priests can go uncollared in isolation

Because we can

Grass verges spout unruly inflorescences and ticking time-bombs of dandelion clocks about to blow

I let the news headlines go

Fuck ‘em! They add nothing to our here and now

Where St George and the Dragon adorn the brick cornice of the shuttered pub

I hear the sea and bees

I fear my own stupidity more than that of others

I long to be able to walk out on the pier

To its very end

.

n.b. http://www.napowrimo.net Day 25 prompt: Almanac prompt.

Christopher Perry

27th April 2020

Apricot, Firenze

Warmed by day breaking

In through the shutters

Light fur of the skin

Curve of the fruit

Sweet flesh

Crushed in your hand

Drips, splashes, runs

Onto your belly

Down to your thighs

You smile, close your eyes

Push me lower

.

n.b. http://www.napowrimo.net Day 24 prompt: Fruit.

.

Christopher Perry

24th April, 2020