Brown Study

Soaked stones , grey , wet and cold
That make noon seem like evening
And lights and woodfires so inviting
Hot tea or coffee any hour of day
And something stronger as the sun goes west
The ruddy cheeks red noses and chapped hands
The rheumy eyes still light with glints of blue
The flavoured accents and the cryptic words
Where warmth is sought and food and company
Where work is hard and sleep is deep till morn
When roses bloom and grass is still dew wet
Tobacco flowers scent the air and stocks
Where leaves are linden green all summer through
Where walks through churchyards and tree shaded parks
Take you to work with taciturn colleagues
A heel of bread and hunk of cheese enough
An apple maybe or a spoon of pickle
A glass of beer or cider if you’re lucky
Some snuff or smoke to round it off at lunch
To hold you up till teatime
Then the walk
Up to the high street or down to the pub
Once more until the much craved savoury supper
Downed with some scotch if Lady Luck is kind
Some black eyed damsel with red lips and cheeks
Looks on you with some favour and offers a smile
Who knows ?
Who knows what’s good for us , tall castle walls ?
Who knows why , echoing palace halls ?
Who knows , thou shadowy vaults of history ?
Who knows end and beginning , mystery ?
The lot of some has fallen here while others
Across the globe are scattered , fathers , mothers
And children generation after more
None knows what lies for man across death’s shore
Grey day , grey stones , grey head , and reverie
The rain falls gentle all the while , hours flee
Sweet damsel , apple like , fresh and ruddy
Your poet falls into a brown study.

( Amita Sarjit Ahluwalia )

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