A Hired Van, Two Sleeping Bags, a Springtime

We met waitresses and ticket touts,
two bookmakers (at Chepstow races),
even, on Aberystwyth prom,
an Elvis impersonator (some convention on).
Later, on the front at Helensburgh,
we talked to the builders and a mason
shoring up the stone after a winter storm.
This was April. We roamed through crofts
and crescents and large counties, roamed
where flocks chomped, hills brightened
in early sun, roads slid through dales,
and we were up there, in the world’s sky,
peak and cloud, Halls and drovers’ roads.
Towns, where girls gazed blank from bus stops,
queues wound, cafés steamed,
shoppers shuffled, and we presided.                          

I have keepsakes, just a few of them,
two ticket stubs from a Palace of Varieties,
a visitors’ guide to Warwick Castle,
a menu from a Shangri-la.
One photo (for this was twenty years ago)
and that of me (sadly, none of her),
just me, on a battlement at Rhuddlan Castle,
for all the world a mediaeval prince.

Robert Nisbet

If you have any comments on these poems, Robert Nisbet would be pleased to hear from you.