The Journey by Colin Whyles

Submitted by Colin Whyles on Tue, 28/06/2016 - 19:30

The Journey
Sestina on joining as the Common Market and leaving as the EU

Perhaps we seemed to begin our journey

in the cooling evening air, 

watching the sun fall to meet our footsteps 

on a distant, uncertain horizon,

where earth meets sky which, with gentle touch, 

cradled it softly in steady arms,

our steps being marked by our arms
swinging, to time our tireless journey
to find another's warming touch
in the swirling, darkening air.
The echo from the nearing horizon
would be the sound of our own footsteps

withdrawing from our past footsteps,
marching towards those proffered arms
that draw us towards that horizon
that withdraws, however long our journey,
through this blameless, innocent air
that swabs our brow with indifferent touch.

And how we desired another’s touch,
another’s assured footsteps
in the cooling, breezing air;
desiring their strong, reassuring arms
for comfort on this lonely journey
as we stumble to that retreating horizon,

that toys with our dreamt horizon
of joy and wealth, with its feather touch
lengthening this hazardous journey
that demands more and more footsteps,
more urgently swung arms,
deeper lungfuls of gasped air:

inhaled, exhaled, exhausted air,
dense, as copses now crowd the horizon,
waiting to be torn apart by arms
that long to have them at their touch,
when at last the march of footsteps
will rallentando to the end of its journey.

And now, as the horizon recedes on our journey,
we breathe the morning air that replays our footsteps,
and our naked arms shudder at its touch.

Copyright © 2016 Colin Whyles


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Poetry Aloud, Bay Tree Café, Bury St Edmunds