and this is a peaceful place, this

evening of mine, with the spirit
settling and spreading like a fine
slow pool of jelly, moulding-in,
and the voice of a French girl
droning on the 'phone
and the tap of the spitting rain
on my window-glass, the
rustle of a Tesco bag
in protest at its ostracising
and somewhere there is traffic -
low growl from the depths
of road and roundabout -
and voices pass, bodiless,
beneath the stone my curtains hide,
people hurrying outside, being young,
laughing while I, an older
thing, a containment of pain,
sit alone writing, thinking, so full
happy in my hour here, welling
and the French girl laughs, throaty,
the husk in her voice breathy
down a wire
which hums beneath a stormy
channel, a far sea, and here drift of
peace and voice, like a current
carries me
of hope and colour, plans
and mountains,
a warm October afternoon
a Sunday
red wine in hand
and a round full plate of
crackers and cheese
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