The ferns turn to gold and it feels warm for the time of year as we climb to the first view point at Creag Meagaidh. Pearl growls at the man already there and I call her back to put her on the lead. ‘Don’t yer worry about that my dear,’ he says, ‘I’m twice divorced and used to getting growled at.’
A waft of alcohol flows by and the man’s accent takes me straight to Kilburn in North West London. A place where we make friends for life and enjoy the good things this city has to offer. The place where we sleep light on Friday night, alert to the dreaded roar of men who want to kill when the night clubs empty. Our many phone calls to the police and the relief when another life has been saved. The despair when after the silence we here the sirens and the yellow triangle appears on the pavement appealing for witnesses to the latest murder. It is this dark side of the city that drives us towards the last frontier. We are grateful to be here and as we look down over the loch embraced by mountains in the autumn light we say a prayer for those who brave the city life.
At first light on a Kilburn morning
they are already sharing beer
sitting on the steps, eyes haunted
humming ‘It’s a long long way from Clare to here.‘
In response to dVerse Poets Pub Haibun Monday #23 – Contemporary Cityscape (this week’s prompt for prose followed by a short poem was open to poetic interpretation and did not have to be a haibun or contain a haiku)
My grandmother Alice was born in Zurich, Switzerland, and nearly lived to be a 101 years old. I wrote the poem below when we were celebrating her 100th birthday. It was the first time someone in our family had lived this long.
I am writing on the page with your rings on my fingers, remembering how they sparkled when you told stories with your hands.
Stories of your travels, that taxi ride in Jordan, when you were thrown out in the desert, hands landing in the sand.
Today you are so frail, a whisper of a fighter, when you hold my hand you become the child I used to be.
We toast your hundredth birthday, my hands arrange the flowers. ‘Next time I’ll get this many, it will be my funeral,’ you say.
With one squeeze of your hand you abseil down our web, dropping the cord still further. ready to be free.
With one last wave we say goodbye and in my heart I am with you, I hope you will find those places you never got round to see.