Sunday, 8 December 2019

A Poem a Day (118): Rail sparks

Written for JD Mader's 2minutesgo website – head over there to write, read and comment every weekend... you've still got time. This one is about a train journey. The passenger is gazing out of the window, looking back and forward. 

Rail sparks 

We talk in time of sober news,
Colours fleshed out from the sun.
Paired in vases, clipped tulips stand
To attention, listening, not judging,
I decide. Do they find us wanting,
Still pretending to be bold?

They are as we were in our youth,
Petal-soft, unwrinkled, their fresh
Scent of positivity taking the room.
They nod in the summer breeze,
Offering their sweet pollen with a
Suggestiveness only known to bees.

Here are the places where we walk,
The spaces abandoned by walkers,
Who circled in and out before us.
Their footprints press into this earth
Like restless roots, seeking to delve
In deep, seeking a key to grounding.

The memory twitches back and forth.
It’s made for them to breathe and shout,
Petals. Words. Words are everything.
They stand waiting for an explanation.

This metal lung chugs lonely in the dark,
Electric sparks dance upon wet rails,
Flicker, trigger, across this sombre field,
Wheels creaking in a slow-drawn wind.

We scatter our light in suitcases
For our neighbours to see and wonder,
To investigate whether these things fit,
And check if we were ever really here.

Travelling lightly, the velvet tulips breathe,
Not knowing where our wanderlust shall go.

Copyright Vickie Johnstone, December 3, 2019

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