SIDE BY SIDE


For you and me, like Henry Moore’s bronze
kings and queens, there is something very
special about sitting together
on a public seat with a majestic view…

***

On the erstwhile Exxon Valdez ride
at the ’90s Epcot Centre, plunging
above Alaska with a dying friend…

Snow falling on Halkyn Mountain over
the estuary from Parkgate promenade
and a fire briefly flaring then dying
by Flint Castle on the distant shore…

A child begging on the corniche at Luxor,
singing, ‘Michael, row the boat ashore,’
and the crowded ferry crossing the Nile…

‘John Williams, Plumber, A Deganwy Lad’,
with a view of Penmaenmawr – Wagnerian,
mauve against the bright sky above Ynys Môn –
the bench washed away in a freak storm…

Beside The Lake in Central Park, early
September before 9/11,
the row boats empty in the humid air…

***

Relaxing on the cruiser at Edfu
with mint tea after a temple visit –
on the road, a camel and donkey
passing in the back of a pick-up…

On the steps of the Community Hall
where Mandela trained to box, next to
a serious queue for a bouncy castle…

Opposite Conwy Castle, the curlews
and the shelduck on the sand banks at low tide –
in the channel along the far bank
a water skier buzzing, buzzing…

Next to the river and the Peter the Great
fantasy statue, in the Monument Park,
with Dzerzhinsky facing his future…

Market Street, Jozi, with the theatre
and bookstalls – and its environs safe
again but at what cost to the homeless
who squatted in the windowless buildings…

***

On the topmost row of the amphitheatre
at Epidaurus, dusk settling among
the olive groves and the tourist buses…

On the beach at Alvor – where Portugal
ceded Mozambique to Frelimo
in a country club – with North Africa
seemingly just beyond the horizon…

In the grounds of the Hector Pieterson
Museum, with the liberated traffic
of Orlando West careering by…

Etna rising in mist from Taormina’s
Giardini Villa Communale
with its avenue of olive trees,
each a memorial to the naval dead…

In Polesdon Lacey’s rose garden,
designed by the playwright Sheridan,
with cattle lowing below the terrace…

***

Ah, to have such promising prospects, the first
of Disneyland, the last of England – somewhere,
looking forward, to imagine the worst,
to speak of the past, to learn to know blessings…

 

 

 

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  1. #1 by John Moorhouse - February 27th, 2016 at 13:28

    Beautiful. I want to go to all those places immediately.

  2. #2 by Alan Horne - March 10th, 2016 at 04:05

    I liked this, David. I noticed myself skipping over the individual items in order to grasp the poem as a whole, and that made me think of the possibilities of a list, as somewhere where surprises could be hidden in plain sight, catching us unaware, like the vision of the donkey and camel in the back of the truck.The notion of joint prospects, of looking outwards, is great way of making a love poem.

  3. #3 by David Selzer - March 10th, 2016 at 15:25

    I like your notion of ‘surprises…hidden in plain sight’, Alan, but have wondered if the poem – the list – were too long, too repetitive. On balance, it didn’t seem so when published and hoped the watery theme would act as a motif.

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