Sunday, 30 May 2010

Nyon & Divonne

Travelling for work sometimes gives me the chance to visist some splendid places in Europe, especially in Switzerland & France.

NYON - Switzerland


It’s late January
Tonight the temperature is well below zero
Wave after wave crashes into the wall
Driven by the ferocity of this winter squall
The wind whips the spray
From the tops of the waves
Freezing in the air
Coating the pavement
In a cloak of ice
As hard as glass
Turning the plants
Into frozen sculptures
Glistening in the moonlight
The gale screams
A banshee cry
As a few hardy souls pass by
Faces scarf wrapped
Arms clutched tightly around bodies
A defence against the biting cold
A chill that seems to seep
Into the depths of your bones
Freezing your very essence
As somewhat senseless
We can do nothing but gaze in awe
At the spectacle unfolding before us
Dodging waves
Walking as carefully as cats
So as not to slip
Forever fearful
Of accidentally
Descending to the depths
Of the Ice Queen’s lair



It is warm for April
we sit outside ‘Charlie’s Bar’
in jeans and ‘T’ shirts
sipping Erdinger and Desperados
picking at the crisps and nuts
slowly smoking duty free Marlborough

watching the young people with their phones
and laptop computers
conversing at once with each other
and with the world at large

the sky changes colour
gone is the cloudless blue
in creep other hues
purple, yellow, orange, crimson
as the sun goes down behind the Jura

the trees change from light to dark green
an electric storm erupts above the mountains
reflected in the bubbling fountain
as it rises and falls

but here we have no rain
Divonne remains warm and dry
as we sit and watch the sky
the lightning flashes between the clouds

like the synapses in our brains
firing one upon the other
triggering thoughts unrelated
the conversation waxes and wanes
as we sink deeper into a comfortable
we drink ‘To absent friends’

words are no longer required
as the sun sets
on yet another day
we are satisfied

Saturday, 8 May 2010


Beside the Sea

There is a peace, an inner peace, that comes to me when I’m beside the sea
Constant yet ever changing, gentle waves lapping
Or storm surges crashing, it makes little difference
It excites my senses like no other vista

The sea suppresses all of my anxieties
All thoughts beyond the here and now, are vanquished somehow
Just being beside the sea recharges my vital energy
There is nothing quite like a beach at daybreak
Watching nature come awake
The raucous cries of the Herring gulls the mewling shrieks of the young
Begging to be fed somehow clears my head

Cormorants stood with wings outstretched
As they behold another sunrise
Oystercatchers and Turnstones wary of my presence
Take to the sky in some surprise before settling at the waters edge
As the suns rays reflect across the water
Stretching to the shore where I stand once more, beside the sea.

There is a Storm Comming

The juvenile Herring Gulls disappear against the background sky
For today it is overcast and grey, clouds stretch from horizon to horizon
Surely there must be a storm on the way

Tiny patches of white and flashes of blue appear here and there amid the darker hues
Clouds cloak the land, today there is no sun yet it remains balmy and warm
Harbinger of the storm to come

The breeze rustles the grasses scattering rabbits and small birds
Within the dunes, the storm is coming soon

Black clouds gather over the mountains slipping, sliding coast-wards where for now the sea is calm and still
Gentle waves kiss the shore filling up the rock-pools once more
But the storm is on its way

Seabirds start to head inland flying away from the shore
The wind rises and the first rain begins to fall
The waves increased in frequency and ferocity
Now they smash against the shore spray flies in the wind
We wait no more, the storm is here.

A Conversation Between Two Hering Gulls

Morning mate, been fishing?

No not me, I’m learning to be urban, better pickings!

You mean, you’ve not been down to the shore, not had a paddle at the waters edge, seafood galore?

No, the car park in town, that’s where it all goes down, chips and burgers, curry & rice bread rolls and cake crumbs, all very nice!

But there are Starlings, Pigeons and nasty Crows, Magpies and Rooks, why, even Sparrows!

Yeah, great isn’t it, like everyone can see, a multi ethnic, multi racial, avian society!

But you are a seagull, you’re supposed to soar, send your days above the ocean’s roar, feeding from the bountiful sea, it’s a great life my friend, just look at me!

Oh I did, and I’ve listened but I’ve been an urban bird now for weeks and I can’t stand the prattling of you health food freaks.

What, no Sprats, Eels, or tasty Shore-Crabs?

No, I prefer Pizza or Pasta, KFC or Kebabs!
Flying High
I had forgotten, the excitement
The exhilaration, the pure delight
That comes with simply flying a kite
Overcoming the initial frustration
Of getting up into the sky
Suddenly the wind catches your kite
And up, up you fly
Higher and higher
Pitching, soaring, diving, wheeling
As the wind takes your kite
Every movement you’re feeling
As you gently adjust the strings
It’s as if you yourself had wings
And up you go, higher and higher
It’s somehow elemental being a kite flyer
Working in harmony with the wind
Such feelings have no limits
Just like your dreams.