crossing Holderness by bus

from me next book

a long wait ahead
for a replacement bus –
ours had overheated.
I sit on an iron bench
its struts griddle my legs
it’s noon
the sun is high and hot –  
energy-sucking hot –
a tree affords shade.
I stand reading a book –
Tom Paulin poetry –
stepping into his reality.
he writes decent poetry – this is a rarity.
at my feet cigarette ends
and an ant scuttling
into shoe-sole cool.
my bus arrives.
I sit at the front – shady side
glancing from
the fields of Holderness to Belfast poetry.
Belfast poetry to the fields of Holderness.
all is quiet until
a whirligig of young girls’
squirling swirling pig-tail giggling
fills the bus.
I suck a tissue to plug my ears
against the irruption of
unbearable pathos.  
behind their tinsel worldly-wisdom
they are teenage innocents.
a certain sundering will come.
lust – not just their own –
is tapping urgently
at their window pane.
the progression is well-trodden;
an old tale retold…
an old song replayed…
innocent cuddling… kissing…
hasty fumbling… careless coupling…
stumbling blind into motherhood –
the giving of birth
that tearing pain
through which the world renews
they tumble the stairs
out into sunshine
still giggling.
I hope they find affection.
I wish them warmth.

© coolhermit 2023
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critique and comments welcome.
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amazing, loved it


Another excellent observational piece. I wish I’d read it last week. Glad I have now. Definitely not a poem to be discarded. Good luck with the book.

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