Montparnasse – 15e Novembre 2015

8ffe6dd6-5139-4703-821e-ffb0bf968c22.jpegIt was a moment between trains

I was heading for Poitiers and had to wait

As we all did after that Friday night when

Young men with guns and grenades

Maimed and murdered

Young men and women unarmed

Before more men with guns and grenades

Returned the favour

 

At the polished sleek station serving the south-west

I waited and watched as more young men with guns

Ready to shoot to kill patrolled

In open sight

Young men with guns

Sent to reassure us

As we waited for trains out of Paris

Away from young men with guns.

 

See also Columbine, Sandy Hook, Parkland, Santé Fe, Gaza.

CLP 18/05/2018

A Fine City

1FE9B905-EC7B-406A-8E1F-65928C4ECBC9.jpegNorwich thickened

through history,

enriched by wool traded with Holland,

masonry and church building,

glass angels stained into windows

watched over its

guilds of wealth and power.

 

Still populated today by towers,

shells of flint and stone, but

Medieval street structures struggle

to accommodate larger people

crowding into larger shops

whose plastic fronts do not mean elastic

just fake, false, shiny show.

 

CLP  06/05/2018

Season’s End

AC4C3DFC-BEF6-4504-9052-62AEFD0E0B26

At last wind from the sea is welcome.

Dust not leaf litter blows along gutters

Pollarded beech trees add leafy tints

to Frensham Road.

 

The movement of people is looser

in summer shorts, blue shirt tops,

although blue and white of Pompey scarves

is still worn despite cricket weather heat.

 

Excitable sons gambol alongside

long-striding men looking ahead

to August,

ignoring twelve mid-year weeks,

while grandads show gentle interest,

kindly coaxing little lads back

onto root-lifted pavements,

answering high-pitched questions about who might play

and why another favourite won’t

and this and that and, and, and…Grandpa?

 

A block-shaped car

is parked particularly precisely,

a wheeled chair is removed,

unfolded, locked into shape

and careful, strong-gripped manoevres

position a determined animated,

colourfully dressed fan,

safe into place, ready to roll

to sit in concreted shade,

where eyes sharpened,

alight to athletic movement

on mown patterns, across white lines

pitched between flag-marked corners,

watch keenly every detail of pre-match

preparation and ritual.

 

Contrast from the shadowing South Stand,

marks near black on brilliant green,

cuts so sharp that momentary

sight loss flickers in eyes squinting

to adjust as they chase

colours, given stronger tone

by Sun set high with a perfect seat,

but who has to drag herself reluctantly away out west

before the final whistle,

but only after pouring one last gulped pint

of welcome warmth

into sun-glassed faces.

 

Impenetrable bright sky, sets off the scene in blue hue not seen inland,

so blue that stars behind become anxious

they will not get on to play tonight.

 

Wide-winged gulls’ cries of the sea are drowned at birth,

over-whelmed, engulfed in waves of voices,

by microphoned, amplified announcements,

strong rhythms, clapping, chants and songs.

 

For some this is the last match.

No substitute will step in when they get pulled from the pitch.

Some will know their part near played up,

others will depart the game in shock,

their removal a surprise to all.

Unfair, unwarned and fiercely questioned,

why did they get The Manager’s call?

Yet another sign of unfathomable tactics.

Next season, last game in fresh May

their names will be on the lips

of the man who reads The List

of those who once so happily

trooped along to Fratton Park.

3B9615C9-A5FC-4134-BF5D-C6E2C81F03AC.jpeg

 

CLP  05/05/2018

Dedicated to Albert Perry “Grampy”

 

 

May Day, Bognor Regis

Pink

petals wild blown

accumulate in drifts

fill gutters,

kerbs billow into puffed up pillows.

 

Bared bottom leaves tilt up

and wiggle, pale undersides

frolic nude.

 

Baited by sunlight,

naked limbs are dared

to risk exposure

so piercing beams,

when whisked up

with sea-cooled gusts,

buff white skin

pink.

 

CLP  01/05/2018