A poem about going on holiday. I tried to play around with the metre so that the rhythm of the poem reflects the different parts of the journey.
The train is crowded with people and bags.
Some off on holiday, some off to work,
Some are just wearily journeying home.
3 hours of travelling, hot stuffy trains,
And stations, and benches, and no room for knees.
I’d give anything for a breeze.
Shotton, Flint, Prestatyn, Rhyl,
All doing nothing to ease the congestion
As more and more bodies and cases and bikes
Optimistically seek just the hint of a space.
Then, gripping my bag, I head for the door.
A traveller no more.
I’d hoped for a breeze.
A breath of fresh air.
And for a moment on the platform it was there.
Then stepping out from the station’s shelter into the helter-skelter of a howling gale I see clouds, pale with fright, taking flight and even the sand tries to flee from the land and I wonder what danger lies over the hills…
Shoulders. hunched. Pressing. On.
Every. step. hard. won.
As I make my way along the shore,
Steadily gaining ground against the wind
In the distance caravans lie, pinned
Like specimens in some museum drawer,
Neatly lined and labeled. That is where
I’m heading, if the air allows me through.
A sanctuary. A haven. Overdue
Respite from the burdens of elsewhere.
Into the sea the sun quietly slides
And, for a moment, I see its treasure glinting on the tide.
(c) Rich Clarkson 2016