In the dark, the wind’s uprooted trees
and left our garden on its knees –
each plastic chair
flung in the air
lies scattered on the grass.
A scene of utter devastation
is spread there for our contemplation
as we ask ourselves in consternation
how such things come to pass.
Beyond the garden gate, the sea
still pounds huge waves relentlessly
upon the beach
and tries to breach
the line the Mairie has decreed
should separate the human race
from sardines, mullet, shrimps and plaice
and keep us in the state of grace
in which on them we feed.
Chaos, it seems, has come again,
and in the cataclysmic rain
it’s easy to
take the bleak view
and think the end is nigh.
If so, these could be my last verses
before the broken world disperses
we two without last rites or hearses,
or time to say goodbye.
Life – mostly – has been very good
in our particular neighbourhood
so if this is
the last abyss
we can’t claim we’ve the right
to raise objections, or to say
the apocalypse is not fair play
and should come later, not today
nor, preferably, tonight.
But we stare at one another – seeing
through to the essence of our being?
As though aware
we’ve failed to share
till now, what now seems true –
that it’s only those brave souls who dare
to know that always, everywhere
it all could go, and don’t despair
who somehow love renew . . .
If you have any thoughts on this poem, Tom
Vaughan would be pleased to hear them.