EUROPA BY BIKE - THE JOURNEY SOUTH  1996  rjmendera

From a manuscript called Europa by Bike: The Journey South 

These poems were written in 1996 on my first Cross Europe bike trip. 

 

               ...... Last Train to Salamanca .......

All those joyful days I would not leave behind, instead 

I would drape them around me tightly, regret 

Those many hours scrimmaged on the lawn, in sweat 

Those endless friendship games, what colleagues said 

In Spanish heat my tears wash salt out of my eyes- 

When you are riding backwards through the unknown night 

You only feel the pangs of sun's red setting light 

And one Horizon that you know is gone tonight 

Out of that window draped and solemn strange the sight 

Forever lost the landscape of familiar eyes 

Certain that tree turned autumn gold 

Certain those boys are playing soccer 

School books and girlfriends nights turning cold 

I ride this train to Salamanca. 

Treasure those nights spent with him only 

ride this train to Salamanca 

Feels like a limousine or jet 

Spanish train rolling southwards 

Tears wash salt out of my eyes 

On the last night train to Salamanca. 

 

                    September 3rd 1996- rjmendera 

                         For Sebastian C.

         ....... G u a r d a ........

Guarda,you bitch, this verse is for you 

You backassed son of a migraine headache town 

When I pedal 2000 kilometres across Europe 

I expect a decent reception from you 

Instead you made me push my loaded bike 

2 kilometres uphill 

Only to find that busses would not transport me 

So back down hill glide to the railway station 

There was only a route for a monkey 

Leaving at zero hours ie. midnight 

No thanks I said and then discovered 

The roadway South lead only through Guarda UP! 

So I had to push and climb again 

And it turned night 

And I wanted only to dismount that unmarked whore 

Leave behind! 

So I night-lighted it downhill rear exit 

Direction Castello Branco 

My bike's generator buzzing 

Alright let's leave this place 

Descending at high bike speed 

Into a deep valley  distant  foreign 

Charred black countryside around me 

This was the landscape of burned memories 

It smelled of fires quenched 

As I flew through the night 

I slept on a bench by a well-lit Madonna 

Cold and damp the night 

Dogs howled  hourly bells  late traffic 

I was weary you prima donna 

You pompous Guarda 

Who in their right mind builds

On the peak of a mountain 

A city. Guarda

You're not fit to belong to the cities of Europe 

You must go to the school for tourist signs! 

And directions informing in many speeches 

Your only sign is one that says 

        GUARDA-CENTRO 

       -UPHILL FOREVER- 

With no bike paths- 

Broken glass- 

Poor pavement- 

Postmortem script 

Guarda is Portugal's highest city. 

 

              September 5th 1996

 

the photo caption is incorrect here -it was 1996-! rjm

              ........ French Forest .........

 

All through France those nasty creatures 

In woods, bushes and thickets 

Gnashed their sharp teeth outside my tent. 

Weasels or ermins or something bigger 

I could not sleep at night. 

And so the night became a fearful experience 

In B o u r g o n n e 

                    I heard the Savage sound 

Of a nightgame eternal 

That game between Hunter and prey 

 

When there is only sound to see 

In a pasture nearby 

     The dramatic cry 

         Of preying bird 

            With victim in its claws 

 

It reverberated through the dark 

   Like a primitive savage language 

 

The screech-" Mine is the catch 

              Mine is the kill 

              Mine is the Earth at night" 

A Hunters triumph 

         That felt like 

          A benefit to man. 

         And the answering squeal 

          Of a creature caught 

         As though by fate 

             Knowing it was lost 

                      And conquered. 

    A sly serpent               vanquished 

Symbolic of that the Persian sign: 

            The mighty Justice of Aechemenes. 

 

And then as though to end this match 

Far off, a proud old rooster's sign 

         ending the night,signalling day. 

I had almost forgotten this ancient game 

      - safe in brick houses- 

But all through France there were Eyes At Night 

And creatures hidden 

              With hungry intentions. 

  

                               September 5th 1996

              

    ................ Lil Island of Pessegueiro .................

Voice: How shall I reach that small nearby Island 

I am an old coast ragged and weary 

Wave worn and Atlantic torn 

And cannot leave my shores. 

How can I land on that small precious island 

Mine is a history of jagged rocks reaching 

Of hardness teaching and roughness preaching 

But yours is a tender core. 

That tease up your fragile harbours 

Smash down on my sandy coves 

You are born fresh from Roman ruins 

Open to landings out of the sea 

But I am a guarded by cannons and castles 

With sharp walls and turrets that defy enemies 

 

Answer: Do not long for that small nearby Island 

It's fruit has dried and it waits for seed 

It has only barren soil heeding 

Lies captured and appears to stand free 

Open a bay and waves will wash it 

Stranded and broken over your shores 

It is an island small and needing 

You are a mainland sure. 

 

Voice: How can I touch that small nearby Island? 

       Wait till it reaches me. 

 

                                 September 14th 1996 

                           For Leandro a Portuguese boy 

 

 

 

 ....... two men go travelling through the Algarve......... 

two men go travelling       One does not see 

pomegranates ripening on wasted trees 

on lips a boy eating orange shrimp 

teeth of black coated older Senhoras 

flesh browned and drying in Fisherman's shade 

the old tobacco shop warning to wait 

before crossing that busy Harbour Street 

      intense in blue heat 

one goes travelling and does not heed 

those luxurious palms drooping yellow seeds 

 

or for example the quick dark glancing 

backward youth with forward hanging bangs 

who said " it would be fine with me" 

       in   bed    ed 

the naked     bursting    violet 

         Bougainvillea Bush 

             gloriously 

sun-sparkling as boys learn to sail 

          in little skiffs 

      on a rippling wide eternity 

wasn't it here you wanted to see 

smelling of fish nets drying on seasalted 

cement docks 

                she 

has little silver cross earrings 

dark blue olives on fleshy-leafed trees 

bitter if you sample them green 

      mean looks of young criminals 

scanning their beat       tourists hanging 

like ripe plums under

                        umbrella eaves 

in Faro where the two men go 

there are campers crashed like old airplanes

near a beach 

so many that the sand is full of burned victims 

mountain bike boys pulling wheelies 

up full   neat white and pink 

         reared 

       oleander bushes 

Super Bock beer in cylindrical glasses 

this is a world of chance and chance passes 

pastel villas    blanco apartments 

musked men     guiding girlfriends 

down misleading lanes by slender wrists 

overweight bellies and middle-aged manes 

         maybe phony blind man 

who sees that empty brandy cup 

eaten up chicken bones   piri-piri 

small dogs begging a bit of meat 

calico cats    abandoned casas 

only One never cuts his connections 

is always available via handy 

has a Portuguese wife in Lisboa 

 

the Other not married 

two men go travelling 

one seeks a way  away from his lodgings 

some days stay together 

speaking holidays 

 

the other man plays soccer with boys 

kicking on a court by a park 

with ficus trees and swimming pool 

beneath a great sky of azure discovery 

 

One pays for meals by credit card 

the Other is spending his last earned money 

before returning   to Germany 

two tanned bodies   of brother and sister 

afro cut evergreens 

a lime lighted water tower 

parabolic dishes pointing at stars 

spangled like cookie decorations 

around an Arabian splinter-thin moon. 

two men go travelling    one does not see 

galaxies stretching infinitely 

and how they border on 

             street crossing now 

 

he drives           looking sideways 

into a car turning across an intersection 

tumbles over its hood    uninjured 

 

two days later One goes on alone 

still searching sideways 

while the first waits for 

                         ride 

                to a distant border 

 

          October 8th 1996 Olhao Portugal 

   (With Michael who was hit by a car but was uninjured)

             .........the birds that say NADA........... 

                 and other lessons in Portuguese 

 

they are philosophical birds approaching the point of debate 

inauspicably perched in small dense trees like gossips 

surrounding a restricted area of morals  at dusk 

or when humans lie fantasizing  BIRD ONE begins 

with a simple NADA followed perhaps by BIRD THREE 

and FOUR  when SIX SEVEN and TWO have also 

added their NADAS  PATRON BIRD will join in 

and say NADA whereupon  in unison all will say 

                   NADA! 

but it is only a preliminary discussion which must 

be developed abd enhanced and those first suspicions 

as to the humans mental stability must be either 

confirmed or rejected requiring intervals of vigilant 

listening  spying followed by NADAS  if BIRD THREE 

has a new assumption perhaps BIRD FIVE and BIRD SIX 

will NADA too closely together like politicians trying 

to speak up quickly so that all BIRDS will be 

slightly disconcerted and pose their points of view 

henceforth only as a question requiring the others 

confirmations (NADA?) BIRD TWO (NADA?) 

BIRDS ONE,SEVEN,SIX and THREE (NADA,-NADA? 

NADA?------NADA?) BIRD FOUR supplimenting NADA? 

whereupon the PATRON BIRD will again speak up 

   and all will finally conclude    NADA! 

addendum:occasionally a high flying foreign sea-bird zooms over 

screaming SQUAWK!! but this point of view is not taken seriously. 

 

                   Olhao Algarve          October 27th 1996 

 (strange birds sitting in trees in the park make these very 

   curious sounds which sound like an absurd discussion)  

 

           ........the park for campismos........ 

after Algave Park had lost its one star rating 

it was purchased by a small paunch member of a military junta 

(it had belonged to a bank consortium) 

who tightened security by electrifying boundary fences 

and replacing the yipping collies and mongrels with 

yapping Doberman and Rottweiler guard dogs 

the kind and generous Park employees who spoke 

English French and German were replaced by nasty 

unilingual locals who, to be employed, had to 

pass a test proving their hatred of tourists. Some 

employees who served the public poorly but the junta 

dwarf well in bed, were also hired. Instead of discounts 

the park now had hidden charges for police protection, 

drinking water and hot showers even though none 

of these were really in order. Older couples, who 

had once stayed cheaply living on reduced rates 

off their pensions from other countries, were coerced 

into handing over their credit cards and foreign money 

and could remain in the park only if they did janitorial 

or landscaping chores. Some couples who left the park were 

given a bus ticket to the nearest border. Naturally 

the nearest bus paragem was 10 kilometres distant. 

otherwise campers could come and go passed 

the main security area once they had obtained 

their day pass and left ID cards and been 

briefly frisked     as they pleased. A nearby 

park with fitness circuit was boarded off to allow 

the easy unobserved construction of weapon and munitions 

depots on its boundary. Groundkeepers were all 

trained in espionage. Naturally this change in Algave 

park changed it's reputation. It disappeared from 

the Happy Campers Guide altogether. And rates had to be 

reduced to almost nothing to attract new tourists. 

the train schedule (the tracks ran adjacent to the park)

was increased for better passenger service, 

although hardly anyone rode the train. Eventually 

the junta man agreed to pay tourists a small 

sum if they could stand to park their caravan or 

tent in  Algave Park. In addition they were now 

allowed to buy each other drinks without extra 

charge when the bar was open. Drugs were secretly 

introduced into the water tower to make campers 

unaware that their bills had been tampered and their 

mail opened. Hidden cameras guarded the defective 

showers, and a single non-fitting drain stopper was 

allowed for 20 wash basins. The long-term 

campers became hardened men and women. And everyone 

despised Don Pedros the junta man. Until one day 

the tables turned. And the War began with 

neighbouring Albefairee Park. 

 

                          October 27th 1996 

            ("what if" style cynical fiction) rjmendera

           ...........Boys of Olhao............ 

 

I cannot solve their secret sensual lives 

Can only guess who will undress Who 

              Signs 

Appear like codes before my eyes 

I cannot read their young desires 

Like mysteries I must guess 

              of hidden cruelties 

Naked tenderness 

              I cannot find 

A buyer for my own caresses 

Necklaces of natural seeds  I cannot spot a boy in need 

All seem to be wrapped up in an unknown plot 

Written by an anonymous author 

And girls, though I would have them dear 

Seldom appear 

So it seems to work like a roulette wheel 

Who sleeps with who 

I sleep in tent     alone 

Bent at the waist from nightly cold 

Not yet old 

But cannot bring a young boy near 

Is it the framework of a possibility I need to be? 

The orchestration the chance for a child's development- 

But I am not- 

I am a glowing gentle gin 

                         Mixing and tricksing  

Anti hero to an anti plot 

I am not- 

         Following my own coconut obsessions 

         Scoffing at riches and possessions 

The boys of Olhao their secret lives 

Surround me like an unknown game 

A foreign man is camping with his name 

And would not be a danger to your trust 

          But must 

        That is certain 

      Be wrapped up in intrigue 

In intimacies of blind mistique 

Yet the moon has swooned and gone home 

The sun has set uneventfully 

I feel like a man 

       Not invited to a party 

         so my young friends- for me- 

       The mountain bike's waiting-!! 

 

              November 5th 1996  Olhao 

 

.........Cleaning lady sings in a Foreign Language........ 

outside the infernal Atlantic rain 

comes a Senora singing 

stood under a bridge   drenched  hitchhiking 

Senora singing 

it is the sun you must sing it out again 

and also respect the rain

it is a peace of accepting things 

it is herself she is singing 

not RCA or Virgin Records 

still she is singing the Senora 

an Andalusian hymn 

it sounds like a Prayer of wisdom 

whispered to ward off evil 

last night I was wet and cold 

a little scared of dying 

but there is a Caritas here in Porcuna 

a sheriff stern but understanding 

and so i am drying 

Senora sings while she's cleaning 

my tent and training suit hanging 

in a hotel room 

heater on high 

the roadmap also drying 

Senora sings while she's cleaning 

a little hymn of self contentment 

of keeping those ugly things away 

i was a man cold and freezing 

CARITAS got me a room 

Senora sings a little tune tenderly 

While she is cleaning 

 

to be a stranger in a foreign land 

                - helpless- 

and find Human Kindness 

maybe that's what I wanted to know 

is in this land some kindness 

 

Si Senora the song she is singing 

is a song of joy and kindness 

triumphant over pain and misery 

abuse and callousness 

 

comes a Senora singing in Spanish 

it is not necessary to understand the Spanish 

 

                               November 12th 1996 

                                Porcuna Spain

 

              ::::::: FREEZING RAIN ::::::::: 

 

on and on I go     descending 

                             Wrong streets 

penetrated by the cold hard rain 

the boulevards and traffic lights 

               slide by like smeared lipstick 

 

my hands on the bike can no longer 

               change gears 

strangers give me misleading directions 

it is a race against time 

I am rapidly freezing        energy draining 

my legs can hardly swing over the bar 

but that jar-faced grinch at Arme'de Salut 

seems to think I'm a vagrant tourist 

he does not even let me dry off 

the policeman won't let me enter his station 

he draws me a crude map to another shelter 

i am frightened I do not think I can find it 

i joke sarcastically about freezing 

desperate now I try twice 

i curse at the map's crudeness 

which light?      which intersection? 

the map has about five minutes before 

the paper becomes pulp again 

pizza delivery motorbike saves me!! 

next right

I arrive            snow drenched 

at SOS Les Jeunes  and ascend the right 

                                       stairs. 

 

                        December 1st 1996 

                        Mulhouse,France 

(this shelter took me in for about 10 days- I was drained and exhausted- the shelter was funded by church and municipality )

 

 

          ......evening on an empty stage...... 

it is evening as it was before 

the grand stage with its open view 

descending stairs that lead to locked doors 

floodlights shimmering up from below 

In Calella municipal admissible park 

          i am camped 

in the shadows of mainstage pillars 

having gathered food 

                    in white plastic bags 

that children left from a day excursion 

chips and bananas and submarine sandwiches 

as though this Park were determined to feed me 

          otherwise I am penniless 

    an actor who has forgotten his script 

           so i ad lib 

    and the silent ranks listen 

from terraces near Park lights glisten warmly 

     although a cold breeze creeps black 

           down the hill 

     to remind me of Winter waiting 

           in France and Germany 

 

maybe there are lovers feasting secretly 

           behind stairway niches 

              maybe a stray boy 

           will climb to my preaching 

                    no 

only stars attend my monologue's teaching 

 

across the Mediterranean reaching 

      all night alone in Calella Park 

           projecting my dreams 

                clearly 

               enunciating 

      my need to go home 

           friends who know me 

              i need more prompting 

i need some new dramatic lines 

i need a stunning moving performance 

to beat out the morning dog-walkers' talking 

the groupie sheep-bleaters and those who herd them 

with a flashlight down a dark dead-end aisle 

 

       i need to see the audience smile 

        before the curtain's bitter end 

             i need a friend 

       It is evening as it was before 

 

                                      December 10th 1996 

                                       Bonn Germany 

(in a municipal park in Calella I found small lunch bags untouched from a school outing the day before. I gathered them into a large plastic bag. They kept me fed most of the way through France. I slept on a large outdoor stage in the empty Park) rjm

***********************************************************

-ABSOLUTE ZERO-

The Early Poems of rjmendera 1972 - 1976

*Note: In the beginning I used the writer's name szymendera on my articles, which is my grandfather's name. I later changed this to rjmendera (ralf josef mendera)

                         

                ABSOLUTE ZERO- Early Poems of rjmendera 

 

 

                                                    .........................  inside..........................                          

                               find my child

                              must find my child

this room’s no place,no boundary, this place,this room

                          this chicken-on-the-run

            these investigations driving northern germany

               into the cornflowers,under Harwich

                        out London,up Heathrow over Tronto

                             through Van to P.G.

                            Vic. and me-must find his color

       his sound must believe about purpose,philosophy

                           education,order+law

                        but not orders + laws

            not routine as for planning i plan

         a kill   only that for a feast

          a cook in the earth, a vanity above power,

            a victorious love sadder than

                               T.V. weddings, T.B. seals

                               T.M. sessions, T.D. passes 

                           find my child  hollywood

                          holy good don’t ever lean on 

                           your truth on your stick

                       don’t think you’ve written a poem

                          when sweet words come

                      a music is a dial that has markers

                        and turns in a pattern

                        the song is the reason you broadcast it

                                     its inside you

              inside you are rapid dreams,viscious and free-

                             inside you is a child

                           finding it can truly sing

                          flight 

                    evening with Hans a 

                   night slipping hands a 

                      runway commands a 

                      clearing Lufthansa 

                   stands a dutch fuel truck 

                       stanza 

                             lifting it's words 

                             like kinetic energy 

                    connecticut apogee 

                    shadow skating freely below we're 

                    all up and up away 

                    crashing from still vacant 

                    world, oh world passing 

                    in pivots, pirating a 

                    euphorious present 

                    to insoluble past a 

                    nother slate runway a 

                    sun embryonic 

                    plane rumbling plans a 

                    turning of nose gets a 

                    flag sets a 

                    wheel by a block 

 

                    morning's light fans 

                    matutinal landscape a 

                         screaming of freshness. 

                    

                    The friends 

They walk side by side leaning

   into the icy wind randomly 

                       touching shoulders and separating 

                         across the leaf strewn lawn 

                                                               an only mutual warmth into the austere grey.

                     ------------ 

                    I write a line 

                      Call it mine 

                In the event of tomorrow 

                  My ears look back 

               At the music I have lived 

         But my eyes hear foreign discordant sounds 

                 As if a body had died 

          And I was left holding only the skeleton 

                  Of someone else's senses

                                                                          ----------------

............Aesthetics .............

Welcome to Janet, Woolworth doll 

Whose hairs are stubbles of l'Oreal 

Lumiblonde excellent copper-brown pale 

Whose eyes are bubbles of leftover 

Penny-sales two for a pennymore 

Free for a ride;four for a bonus badge 

Piercing her hide-blue uniformed 

Pride of function and worth and 

21st century tidy up travel suds 

Waterproof bag; impermeable pouch 

She pushes her buttons and figures 

Roll out;prebalanced, determined- 

      Changes them bare- 

They sit in the Booths and babbel or pout 

of lack-lustre romance

The grand and infirm ,the Boy Scouts and bastards 

alike like Luck's turn, 

And Lionel Edwards runs from the queue 

with an Indian cry from a plasticine spume 

Little Brothers Brown Band Aid screams out as they come 

Like Scars on the faces of walls overdone. All stare; 

      Such          Obscene  - 

And Janet the doll looks up 

From her dream-daze sucks in 

the appal 

ing miscegenation in section 3 

With flashing eyes and black blinking lids 

(lasciviscious lean lids) licks 

For a second her pumpkin patch lips 

And the Register fumes 

While the lemonade flips out flat pink streams 

Or basic-blood Blues, then returns to her keys 

And the restaurant too 

Returns to its beans, roast-broken and brewed 

Where Lionel and brother walk warily through.

 

published in Anthology -Fraser Valley College-1978

 

       

               +++++ I feel sometimes +++++ 

                     the feel of a poet 

                   i struggle with the 

                      weight of a woman's 

                            eyes 

                      crossing on green 

                   they are the shining of washed 

                      glass in a sea of arrogance, 

                      humble and crying out 

                   stabbing my sympathy tacitly 

                   otherwise I have felt depth 

                      in children's laughter 

                    this sane simplicity 

                    that the woman also shares. 

 

                   i no longer can laugh like a child 

                               or sigh like a woman

         ------Spaces----- 

Her blouses change artificially 

She has lost her name almost 

Hidden the door keys 

But interestingly, both are reclaimed 

In the Elevator. 

A fear of immobility,of 

Stranded silence, dancing poorly 

And being dumb. 

Lovers only,she knows, understand joy; 

Lift,grow,sympathise,acknowledge- 

Even learning sits barren 

On wood floors,is difficult 

And requires bus fare. 

Ignoring, I must seem lecherous, 

Removed into scribbles 

Under her nose 

Denying caresses 

Less pleased than a boarder 

Whimperingly right,even-eyed 

for affection. 

Suddenly as sudden as Starlight, 

We sit level before the card table 

Agree on even what day it is, 

And relate like kids in an ally.

 

                    ++++++++Wind Spirit++++++++ 

 

                   Do not moan so Northern gusts 

                   about the gables of the tavern 

                   Impeded though you be the eaves 

                   still let you saunter under 

                   While haunted nights the sleepless 

                   ponder their diffusing youth 

                   Speaking to flighty-curtained ghosts 

                   You, spirit, span wise abysses 

                   Sown in timeless centuries past 

                   We,spirit, with spendthrift lives 

                   Still search the mystery your soul kisses, 

                                            your eye casts!

               ++++++++++ Night-Calm++++++++++ 

                The wind is a hermit 

                        he whispers his nowhere tunes 

            down                    dark alleys 

                        scraping notes fanatically 

                    on the skyboard 

                        with treetops in his hand 

 

                        melodies miander 

                        rushing with urgency all 

                    through his gardens, his motion is music 

 

            when he has finished everything is as silent as space

           --------------To Poets--------------- 

                     Whyfore the poet 

                     Pressed like an ant 

                     On a plasticene ball field 

                     Sticking the backs of dried, 

                     Autumn brown leaves- 

                     Innovating? 

                     Whereto the learning of school box 

                     In right eye 

                     Or the labour of skeleton 

                     Cranes building more blocks 

                     Pried paceless people 

                     In priced, payroll livings 

                     Structure and Order, the rule in his 

                                                  left eye. 

                     Whyfore then,poet 

                     A time in such sunlight 

                     Wording your laughter 

                     At learning defined 

                     Suffering the builders' bilateral 

                     Interphase 

                     Shunning crowds, searching silence. 

                     I say poet you are (unlike all mirrors which 

                                          speak what their fed) 

                     Crystal of sentiment set in an orifice 

                     Sunglite of seer world 

                     "Beyond" rippling through you 

                     Touching and torn for what your soul sees 

                     Your words barely speak 

                     Refracting interchange with ghost vowels 

                                                     from God, 

                     Colours from manganese,teaked other-essence! 

                     Please; when they come asking solace 

                     Fear nothing voiced that you always have 

                                                  known.                                                      

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Finding out about Kenton who hates his old man 

Who owns the Rosemount grocery store who probably 

knows Mel Buerge owner of a car lot where 

There's a Cougar XL without a trunk emblem 

Because Kenton walked by and tore it off with 

His hands     twisted the metal until 

He had his prize      Or that first night 

We got drunk Kenton bled out his nose all 

Up Ward Street come running down the hall crying 

To my place Neil his friend says hurry down 

The alley about five buggers beat us up/ i 

Leap like an animal on bare feet perhaps 

Thinking I am Justice personified perhaps just wanting 

Analysis of a bloody face catching these Shadows 

Strolling up the street demanding to know who 

Done it and why right away this dude owns up 

But I can't deck him he's green with fear Kenton 

Stands behind me sobbing "kill'im kill'im RJ!" 

I turn him around fifteen and drunk  walk 

Him back clean him up on the sidewalk blood 

Patches will shock until winter comes. 

 

Finding out about Kenton on Saturday morning 

Taking me to Pulpit Rock past autumn yards 

Over railway along the lake out the North Shore over 

The bridge making tracks up a "NO TRESPASSING" hill 

With my hands on his hips wearing my beret 

Peeing into the reservoir journeying upward 

He is the only young thing in the midst of autumn 

Lying inverted to drink in blue sky it is 

Touching me how improbable to reach the 

Summit better perhaps enjoy this level  Kenton 

Lies in the leaves almost like Renoir nude I 

Think and explore gently, daring, daring to risk 

Holy friendship subtle friendship only friendship 

In the woods outside Nelson finding out Kenton 

No longer drunk is looking up bolder than eyes 

About kindness for only a moment the trees 

Make a shower   our pains flow down canvas 

Such fond sober laughter found about Kenton. 

 

                         Footnote: Circa 1976:this was amongst some verses i read to a Grade Nine High School English class in Nelson,one of first readings i ever gave,where i was introduced as a "POET" -rjm