Sunday, February 5, 2012

The Green



Those who treasure law and order,
Free from rancour and marauder,
Should visit somewhere I have been,
The local Australian Bowling Green.
See the manicured turf (read lawns),
Free from gravel, free from thorns.
See the seats and accompanying shade,
Pleasant as a sylvan glade.
Hear the silence! There it is!
Not a sign of flash or whizz.
It really is an awful shame
That people come to play the game!
Spoiling that immaculate view,
Doing things that humans do.
Squabbling, laughing, bending, flapping,
Indulging in some slight madcapping.
Bowling Greens are smart and dressy.
Human Beings are, well, so.....messy!


(A very personal memory from forty years ago)

You would expect a final memory
To be intensely personal;
After all,
Four years,
Thousands of miles,
And a great deal of romance and affection,
Had come before.
As it is with many relationships,
It had faded,
Become routine.
Though neither of us had admitted it.
Now he was returning to Africa.
We stood on a grey London platform.
And he said 'I'll be back, you know'.
And I said 'I'll still be here'.
And we were both half-lying,
Hoping we were speaking the truth,
Knowing we were not.
The whistle blew,
The train pulled out.
He waved from a window.
But, almost immediately,
The line curved.
He was lost to sight.
All that was left was a departing train,
Growing ever smaller.
I waved to something
And that is how I remember them,
All those years,
All those emotions,
Whenever I think of him
The departing train is my first thought.
It was utterly impersonal.
Yet it was utterly 

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