Les Courses de la Fete – for the Poetry Challenge

Winter in South Central France


The skittling, seasonal wind
cuts the corner by the church.
It leaves a Christmas message
branded on rouge cheeks.

At the Tabac, an old Huguenot
spits out the ancient chestnut
that only a Catholic redeemer
could find virtue in Winter birth.
The delicate demi-tasse,
clenched in labouring fist,
dispenses miasma Arabica;
sour satyr now smiling saint.

A span of religious tolerance,
twixt tabernacle and temple.
The Café du Commerce,
across the great divide.
Coffee-misted haloes pierce the veil,
glimpses of the faithful;
where Gourmands recite
Complex pleasures in simple feast.

Anglo-Saxon vulgarity is not displayed.
No bran tubs, Secret Santa
or M and S underwear.
French Fancies are hidden under wraps.
Everything stops for coffee,
Yes; and lunch,
the occasional show
of workers’ solidarity.

The happy Café mist gives no ground
to the frenzied hunt for Christmas.
Perfection is a daily given.
the simple rhythm of life.

© franciman 2017
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critique and comments welcome.

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9 Comments on "Les Courses de la Fete – for the Poetry Challenge"

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Ionicus
Member

A winter scene describing the oncoming festivities in the South of France and the religious fervour they arise among its citizens, Catholics and Protestants alike. Yet a kind of tolerant truce develops
between the divide on this occasion, which although special is celebrated in a simple way with no ostentation. A well crafted and enjoyable poem, Jim.

Savvi
Member

Love the opening stanza Jim, it’s a poem in itself. I also love the sentiment behind this and how you capture the essence of the cafe, oh how I wish I was sat sipping coffee there now.

Gothicman
Member
To what’s left of my aesthetic mind, brilliant poetry, you really are a talented wordsmith, Jim. And another writer who should have many published poetry collections for the cultural benefit of all. A good example is with your love of France and the French life-style and their appreciation, not only of beauty, but also of eccentric characters, including a tolerance of, and respect for odd and obstinate personalities and weird and wonderful life-philosophies, comes across so well in your work, and this one is no exception. You have the talent to not only be accurately in lyrical presentation, but to… Read more »
Belcanto
Member

Awesome write! Your first stanza brings me right into the raw, street level feel of a winter’s day and your fourth is charmingly droll in its description of Anglo-Saxon vulgarity. 🙂 A clever, fully fleshed portrait of a French winter’s scene painted in a brilliant color and contrast of words. A pleasing read and a fav for me. bel 🙂

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