Berwick Poetry Workshop

Genius Loci

Everyone, regardless of where they grew up,
has a ‘primal landscape’.”

I see you sitting on that roadside bank
level with the tall, brittle, yellow grass
as it bends and then it breaks in wind unheard from the road,
reaching for a low, brown hill under damp, coastal clouds.

    Inside Peckham flats a blanket drapes,
    green and orange and indigo.
    A wheel spins the day into life
    and a thousand colours burst
    onto a grey concrete exterior.

Down days, when cold grates lay ashen,
chilled the fingers and toes of life,
home was a frozen, primal landscape.
Up days were those warmed with a blaze.

    Show me the ocean that Balboa saw,
    set me to sail white, taut in the wind.
    Give me a horse swift as demons ride,
    then set you, ich bitte dich, tight by my side.

Ancient stone: a windswept child’s playground.
Lines of green and yellow, rain-stained walls
anchored between shifting sea and sky.
Racing wheels, racing clouds;
remembered laughter.

    If I am lost, found crying in the maze,
    don’t lead me home, point me a different tack
    and when the sunrise gilds another day
    I’ll take my chance, go dance that newfound way.

Without libraries what have we? We have no past and no future. Ray Bradbury, science fiction writer