Seven minutes to the next bus. A heron flies
a calm commute about the ancient church.
The grass, so green around the stone-blessed graves,
grows wilder, longer, by the dark canal.
The water, brightened by large water lilies
conceal/reveals a frog, and tiny fish.
Yellow flowers on green, broad floating leaves.
Storm clouds contest the heaven’s startling blue.
A mass of grey occludes the western sky,
the sky’s skirts hemmed at the horizon by thick fog,
cows silhouetted sharply in the false light.
The sun, imprisoned, in prism, by the clouds.
A drawbridge, unattended on this weekday,
stays down while underneath it, red canoes
containing children from a school-trip class …
A large canal, houseboats with their own boats
and a dredger barge maintaining navigable waters.
We cross the ring way. Constant clang of new construction.
Machines assist machines, reshaping roads
and stamping houses on what were green fields
last week or was that a decade. Stop: shopping centre,
then on along a boulevard with flowers
and more canals and sport fields, green full trees.
Then down a topless tunnel/major road
at speed, red poppies on the banks scarce heeded.
Bigger waterways with locks. An actual tunnel
underneath the river to the city centre.
We pop up there, our bus a time machine:
grand houses here for centuries. Tourist swarms.
Written twenty-first of May 2014 on the bus going to Amsterdam. Thank you, Dragon Dictate, for making the transcription from paper notebook so painless.
What a beautiful piece of work this is, like an animated painting, with more substance than simply watching a video. So wonderful to see your words again, Alan.
Hi, Elise. Thank you!