Sunday, June 21, 2009

Death of a Heatwave

I trained as a teacher at Brighton Training College, on the South coast of England. Summers were, of course, erratic, but there were days of intense blue heat. At such times we would clamber out of our windows on to the irregularly-shaped roof-tops and sun-bathe leaning up against the lead. This is a memory from sixty years ago when a heat-wave ended as suddenly as it had begun.


The lead is still warm,
Here, between the sloping salty rooves.
The wall, rough as a cat's tongue,
Is gentle to the back as a newly-vacated bed.
Yet the heat-wave has gone.
It burnt itself out like a too-brilliant match,
And the ash is grey,
The grey of the leaden skies above the lead.
Up from the sea came the mist.
There was a hill and a silver spire.
And now there is only a grey net
In which golden gnats are caught and die.
The sky closed-in upon the sun,
Like the shutter of a dusty camera.
And suddenly it was cold.
Yet the lead is still warm.


Anonymous said...

This one I like. Mom has a couple she wrote, years ago. Still trying to find them but I fear they are lost. Yours has been found! It's wonderful!

Barb said...

I was never good at interpreting poetry, but I can definitely recognize this was well written :)

Kat said...

Was reading with awe..
your poem written sixty years

The sky closed-in upon the sun,
Like the shutter of a dusty camera.

I liked that usage 'dusty'..!!!

Libby said...

Love this wonderful poem, Libby

Michele Brenton aka banana_the_poet said...

I could feel this as I read it. Amazing how a moment you experienced sixty years ago can be shared so clearly in the present. Time travel at its finest :)

shah wharton said...

Lots of yummy similes here - really transported my to that rooftop! New to onestoppoetry and to here, on the linky. Shah .X

Kodjo Deynoo said...

Heat wave I like the sound behind this, beautiful write

Kodjo Deynoo said...

good write

Marshy said...

thank you so much for digging this gem out...sixty years old and yet when i read it it feels as fresh today as it was then...all the best pete

Anonymous said...

Sad but hopeful. An extraordinary piece! Thank you for sharing. Love the abstract and the richness in imagery in this!