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

Nothing Matters (III)

Luggage belt empties

Baggage has been left behind

Now travel lightly

.

n.b. Would it not be lovely to be so unencumbered? The weight off the shoulders when finally putting baggage down after travelling is a blessed relief. Life is our journey.

.

CLP 16/12/2019

Train of Thought

At last I have a moment

As I wait on the platform

My chance to make a few points

About my direction of travel

On a journey that seems to still have some miles to go

I pray

But I cannot be too confident of that

Bearing in mind that there has been disruption to schedules

Delays, diversions and cancellations

Signal failures

Even trespassers on the line

Where am I?

I am on a one-way ticket

Although this has been described by some

As an open return that will inevitably bring me back

To where I begun

If this is the case

Despite travelling light

I may seem destined for the buffers

But I am never alone

The company of fellow passengers

Not all good company

Some first class

We travel together

Most have their own itineraries

Their own baggage

Places to go, people to see

And our passing is a wave and a cheer

I can save time by taking an instant dislike to others

Who one must take care to avoid

When signals are set at danger

Although for a rare few

I discover a destination shared

Who, when a conversation begins

Continue it on the line

And it seems we have always known each other

Although just recently crossed paths

This journey continues

Without undue haste, but not undue speed

Onward travel in hope

Side by side.

.

n.b. NaPoWriMo 2019 Day 15 prompt: Write a dramatic monologue.

CLP  15th April, 2019

Nail Gloss

I caught a train

Empty seat opposite soon filled

Ellie, was her name

Her grandma told me

.

Ellie watched me

She leant across to look at my phone

She pointed her finger

Showing her fingernail painted pink

I extended my index finger

Our finger tips touched

Across the table

She smiled at me

I smiled too

Such a small hand

Such a tiny finger

.

Later in the middle of the city

So busy, full, slow

So crowded

I couldn’t see my shoes

There was Ellie in her father’s arms

Across the street

She smiled at me

I smiled too

Such a small child

Such a huge smile.

.

CLP 31/12/2019