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THE BLACK CARAVAN

The front page of Brexit Day’s Forgers’ Gazette

was a photo of the White Cliffs of Dover

with ‘A NEW DAWN FOR BRITAIN’ superimposed

on the blue sky above  – and the sun, by chance,

highlighting the erosion of the chalk,

ephemeral and flaky as metaphor.

 

***

 

After the war, when things were in short supply,

and we had drawing, occasionally,

I drew a layered landscape with wax crayons:

blue sky with bird and cloud, bright green grass,

and high, white cliffs, and a black caravan,

where the stony beach and the chalk bluff met.

I imagined myself inside. My father

was lost in the war, my mother bereft.

I stroked the sugar paper into dreams.

 

***

 

Today, out of a bright sky, a northerly

is rushing, thundering through this copse

of larch and spruce. Among the trees camellias,

with their lustrous leaves, are beginning to bloom,

the colours rich amid the conifers.

The wind, through this stand of evergreens,

is almost louder than the roar of aircraft

overhead, coming into land nearby

with cargoes from France, stockpiling as for war.

 

 

 

 

© Copyright David Selzer
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2 Responses
  • Gav Cross
    February 28, 2020

    I think about Dover as a symbol.
    My mum lives five miles from there.
    I adore that castle. The most castley castle second only to The Bloody Tower.
    It has that picture of being the beacon of Britishness to many.
    The field hospital for spitfire pilots in the tunnels.
    Meters above the Nuclear Bunker that was visitable in the 80’s but inexplicably missing from the maps and plans now.
    Placed in the headquarters for the Dunkirk retreat.
    A story that has made me misty eyed since childhood.
    Adapted from the barracks built to repel the Napoleonic threat.
    Sat deep beneath the shadow of the Norman Keep built following the french invasion.
    A stroll from the church built by our Angle & Saxon invaders.
    Built next to the pharos standing since our Roman invaders decided they needed to be seen.
    So clear we are an island nation that stands alone…

    Don’t even get me started about the big blue bird lie.

    A lovely poem – thank you for sharing.
    Contained

  • Alan Horne
    February 28, 2020

    Great blog-style poems this month, David. I like the way the perspective changes in this one. Also the image of the black caravan. Plus any mention of the Forger’s Gazette gets my vote. So that’s two poems about newspapers this time around!

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