Poems by Richard, Part 4

It gives me great pleasure to read and publish these poems – I wish I had Richard’s talent…


M5 Swans

I saw them again
The swans grazing
In little groups
Of twos and threes
In fields alongside
The unbroken rush
Of lorries and cars
And coaches and caravans
Careering westwards
With an unsated urgency.

The swans graceful
Sinuous unhurried
Oblivious apparently
Of what might otherwise
Seem a headlong endless
Flight from an apocalypse
Of cinematic proportions
Or maybe just unfazed.

You think what made
Them choose such
An unpeaceful spot?
Or does it soothe them
Being near such constant
Noise of things rushing
But never stopping
Which keeps at bay
The anxieties
Of silence?

That’s why we like
To live in cities
Riding their insomnia
Buoyed up by the great
White wings which bear
Us high above
Our unsettled minds.


My Late Uncle

That’s you or very nearly –
The heavy coat
Crumpled cord trousers
Heavy shoes probably
From Church’s,
A scarf and cap
And half leather gloves,
A stooping walk,
Stopping to examine attentively
The blackboard advertising
The cafe’s comestibles
Before walking on
At a metronomic pace
Along the platform.

It’s as if I’ve caught you
On one of those
Complicated railway trips
With two or three changes
And at each stop
The topography researched
Checked on a map
With a compass to hand
For good measure
To calibrate
The correct direction
Of travel.

When we get to Swindon
Your doppelganger’s gone.
Of course it wasn’t quite you,
This man had a more developed
Beard and maybe lacked
Your taste in Latin liturgy,
But in other ways
He caught you to a ‘t’
And no doubt you looked on
Half approvingly.



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