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David Selzer – Page 86 – Writer of Poetry, Screen Plays, Stage Plays & Fiction – page 86
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1951

Year of austerity’s end when Atlee

and the dying King launched the festive concrete

of the second half of the twentieth

century. That spring, at Uncle George’s

hotel, we had chicken. Labour defeats

tumbled from the wireless in the chintzy

lounge. I read Five Go Off On Holiday

and Biggles In The Orient. I heard

a family playing tennis, laughter

and plimsolls, stared at a girl sunbathing

by the empty pool. I was Julian

taking command, Biggles shooting up Japs,

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VISITING MOTHER IN BEDLAM

For all the pretty curtains and the tasteful prints

and the carers’ determined bonhomie,

this is the house of the mad and my mother

a permanent resident.

 

Sane, she was aggressive. She is docile now.

She was unsociable, sane. Now she smarms –

at folk she’d once have considered common.

 

She thinks I am dead or my long dead father.

You’re a nurse or her daughter. Alzheimer’s

is the ultimate in wish fulfilment.

 

The deranged have no beauty or dignity,

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BRYN CELLI DDU, YNYS MÔN

This March day is replete with the bright warmth

of spring and ewes bleating for their lambs.

Cropped, walled grass rolls like a green, chequered sea.

The name translates: ‘Hillock of the black grove,

the dark cell’.  The sacred trees have gone:

with the Druids, out-run by Rome’s legions;

and the wheat fields, which fed all of Cymru

before the Plantagenets came. High ground

and megalith survive:  sign-posted, fenced.

 

A passage of shale slabs opens on a round

chamber,

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FOR THOSE IN PERIL

PARADISE ISLAND, BAHAMAS

The sting ray slipped from the azure surface

of the narrow, empty sound, its wings

and tail so large and swimming in the air

for what seemed so long,  we stared, speechless,

and, after it had gone, said: ‘Did you see

what I did?’ and looked along the silver beach

for others who’d seen but no one seemed amazed.

MIRABELLA GULF, CRETE

Under the cobalt waters are mermaids,

Minoans, Cretans, Venetians, Turks, Britons,

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