UNDERGROUND CONNECTION

She sits, silver-haired respectability
savouring a special day; gently
swaying to the motion of the train.
Pipes snake along dirty brick walls,
a sliding mural of power and grime.

Familiar names – southbound;
plotted positions cleverly simplified
strap-hanger high, in turn
reveal themselves through smeary windows.

The hiss and clang of doors
release and renew the flow
of tangential lives in the
brief intimacy of strangers.

A man in singlet and jeans;
work-grubby and fatigued, snaps
the ring-pull and tilts his head to drink,
wiping the back of his hand across
his thirst-quenched lips.

Two children tumble through
the hiss of doors, scrambling
for a single seat. He moves along one,
responding amiably.

Opposite, the woman smiles;
flash-point of understanding
embracing the child-tolerant years.
He slants his head and winks;
returns to his beer.

© Marion Sharville

POET’S LAMENT

The world is full of people
who breathe and walk about.
They laugh and cry and love and hate
and let it all hang out.

They procreate and multiply
from China to Peru.
They fight among themselves
and take their children to the zoo.

They float among the stars
and burrow underground;
enjoy the daffodils;
endure the daily round.

They spoil the world they live in,
yet give as well as take.
They patch up their mistakes,
just for the children’s sakes.

Yet, all these motley people
are completely unaware
the POET Marion Sharville
is also living there.

© Marion Sharville

THE VETERAN’S JOURNEY

The Faculty of Life regrets and fears
the package we’ve delivered is worse for wear.
It started off quite clean behind the ears
but found parts of the journey hard to bear.

The exuberance of youth first sped him on,
the outer wrapping still strong and intact
but “Follow orders, lad, now go along,
the years of war will put a stop to that.”

His mates who fell, still live inside his head
as homeward bound to strangers, he now goes.
Responsibilities and cares make up his bed
back in a life that he no longer knows.

The solitude, despite surrounding love;
a bubble that no pin can ever burst,
has changed his way of thinking; how to move
with caution, a skill in which he is well versed.

Persistence, nurtured through the killing time,
prepared the way for hope to struggle through
as shattered lives broke rank and crossed the line;
to a field of bitter memories, in which to start anew.

The outer wrap is torn but underneath,
the inner man stores courage; some to spare.
Hope, the eternal optimist, will breathe
and fan the flame of youth that once was there.

Time has patched him up with unseen thread;
embroidered golden moments on his heart
to balance things twixt living and the dead
but those closed eyes remain a vital part.

The condition of this package is a mess.
We did our very best to keep him safe
but the Faculty of Life must now confess
it was his inner strength that reached this place;
the place which now, will grant him perfect rest
and damaged goods or not… he will be blessed.

© Marion Sharville

PIE IN THE SKY

You’re Capricorn I know my dear;
a worker of the world, I fear.
Faithful, loyal, boring too,
are things most often said of you.
Dependable right to the end.
It’s good to have you as a friend.

Speaking of friends, I wonder would
you say I’m with you, if my husband should
enquire of my whereabouts later tonight?
I’ve met this young man who looks if he might
take me to dine in a posh restaurant
and afterwards, he might even go on

to show me his flat, a penthouse moreover.
If my luck is in, he will be my lover.

You won’t?

Well, I cannot, you see. Your husband
is spending the night with me.

Loyal? Dependable? All my eye!
This astrology rubbish is ‘Pie in the sky’.

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