Tag Archives: nostalgia

The Bridge On The River Aire

Spine
spinal,
vertebrae
marks to be read
lines in a story
in tongues
we once knew;
thread
and threads
threadbare
woven
in movement
thro’ stilness,
alive in the noise
of silence,
flow flowing
ebb ebbing,
a corpus of whom,
of when ,of how,
of where we are,
were,will be,
remaining remembered
renewed thro’ riving
purposed writhing,
reaching a not
purposed slipping
into camouflage
in its own setting;
of a particular
space and time,
now caught,
now released,
animate intense
passively resisting
our questions,
wonder,
hope.

A German Requiem

Incense-misted eyes


throats baulked with pride,


scars reddened by droplets


a hand wiping spittle


from the Breviary’s page;


Drought-mouthed elegies


to ribbons burdened


by weights of guilt,


gleaming handle farewells


accompanied by Bach


to the warrior hearts


swollen with longing,


marking time with


the limping clock;


Yearning, yearning


for visions


wrought into maps,


iron-ore mountains


forged into Tanks


and nights of gasoline


when the Sea


of Ages parted


and Schnapps was Wagner


in our heads.

Alien Nation : Alienation

We went into the Valley of Elah

looking for victory and reasons to carry on ,

when we got there those reasons had gone ;

they’d quietly slipped away

leaving us with nothing more to say ;

when we got back

we didn’t recognise ourselves ,

we looked at our faces in the mirror

that only showed someone else ;

all our words too had their meaning changed

for something that we couldn’t understand ,

and we who were born here

became strangers in our own land .

Industrial Landscape

 

Charred chimney blackened

horizons wreathed in

cotton from the mill,

coal from the pit,

spinning wheel spun

ocean depth burrowed;

dark and darkening,

surrounded railway terminals

clanking clamouring,

crashing their weights

freights of billets and cables,

smithied and forged from

molten steel heaving hissing

endless streams whiter than

the eyes of those snap-tinned men;

fire-breathers off the graveyard shift

criss-crossing paths with their

cock-crowed young mates,

on crammed jammed rattling trams

rolling home to neat-boxed quadrangled

estates where daytime lungs ache

for more of that air and

early evening eyes strain for

more of that light

doused too soon by

charred chimney blackened horizons.

 

 

Broken Memories

The Chanteuse

alone,

crooning existential

torch-lit ennui,

marinaded in

absinthed vocals,

in the salons

and bars of

La Rive Gauche,

domicile to flaneurs

and bohemian confreres;

she is wounding

their hearts with

visceral monotonous langour;

amid smouldering pyres

of  Gauloises,

stygian-leafed frissons

of earthy odeur,

redolent of arcane

manual labour,

debts

and

despair.

Flicks

Stumbling along wet evening streets

glancing at the jigsaw faces

from years ago

torn and flapping,

trying to recall who they were

their names erased by years of exile

from the beams of projectors

piercing the spiralling smoke

with their monochrome magic

engraving spendthrift lives

with icons of fulfilment,

momentarily tethered to

hearts by a spoken word,

a melody hummed,

dah-dee-dah-dee-dah-dum,

while we watched their ghosts

glide across the screen like

seagulls into the fleeting clouds,

where they were lost

to the naked eye.

Bruges Ennui

Lost in the grey

of an evening

in Bruges;

On streets I no longer recognise

searching for those bars

whose names I no longer remember,

where I was enveloped in a

pervasive aroma of wheat beer

that hovered aloft like incense

at altars I once worshipped at;

The Belfort Tower still towers above

an intricate labyrinth of crook backed,

criss crossed narrow streets

whose timeless mise-en-scene

admonishes me for not staying longer;

From a distance,

thro’ a smoke misted window pane

a jingle jangle jukebox

whispers inarticulately

remnants of a melody

that once was the anthem

of lives lived long ago.

Daily Routine

Every evening at 5.09
he leaves the office,
takes the streetcar
into town,
goes for a stroll
down to the park
by the canal;

there he sits
on the bench nearest
the ornate water fountain;

He dreams,
of a lost childhood
long summers ago
by the sea,
days filled with singing,
laughing and
crying;

Crying now,
the little girl
by the fountain
who has lost her way,
golden hair,eyes of grey,
reflected in his thick lenses;

As he watches her
he dreams,
of long summers ago,
a childhood by the sea
filled with laughing
and crying;

now in the park
he lies beneath a summer sky,
side by side with
the golden girl
and
she lies
very still.

Tram Journey

Silhouettes embark the

theatre on wheels,

bantering chattering

artistes of the verbal trapeze,

accompanied by accordions

of folding evening papers,

keeping time

with stone-tablet timetables

clattering through blackened

railway arches

circumlocating city square,

its familiar gargoyled spires

furtively conspiring

with fading autumns

our memory of them drained

dry of crumbled chimneys,

fogbound railbound cobblestone

terraced streets stripped bare,

shadows alight,

merging into air.

Last Christmas ( 1961 )

Sepia hued

smoke-filled aroma

of spicy gingerbread,

pervasive odours

of holly,ivy

and mulled wines;

infusing kitchen,scullery

and dining room,

evoking a childhood

with their forgotten

boxed presents

under the enormous

seasonal bough,

its array of

waxen lights

twinkling,twinkling

long into memory

and myth;

the greetings

and the joy

in Alpine setting

of hearth

and ” Heimat ”

Advent,Christkindl

and ” Stillenacht “;

their longing

recalled by chance,

by stray snatch

of melody,

returning,returning

to an innocence lost,

to a card once

annotated

“frohe weihnachten,A.E.”

now,here,

now in a place

where that birth happened

but no longer counts,

A.E.

Prisoner,

Adolf Eichmann.

(*Footnote:Notorious Nazi War criminal Adolf Eichmann was abducted by Israeli Mossad agents from Argentina and was put on trial on December 15 1961 in Israel)