Transparent Words - Poetry


4 poems by Elaine Walker



White Narcissi    


   The road winds

         through bosomy hills,

               round and rolling in shades of green, until

   sudden and unexpected,

                    the white narcissi appear.


     Stark stems

     clean and long,

     with slowly spinning

     three-petalled faces

     impassive among the

             heaving fields that thrive beneath them,

     unseeing in their measured

    contemplation of their own grounded

     solidity, rooted in concrete, harnessing

                 the wind and tying nature down to reflect

                        the precocious brilliance and invention

     that plunges metal flowers

          into the living earth.


      The road curves away, spilling itself

                            downhill, then turns, clambers back

               and there they are again, a field of

              giants now, overhead against the

              sunlit blue sky, coolly surveying

              distant horizons, challenging reluctance

                                           with their strange

                                                               beguiling beauty.





Someone else’s postcard

 of a place I’ve never been,

 with sharp rocks and

 a pebbled shoreline,

 shallow turquoise and

 deep blue sea.


A sandy path climbs a scrabbling hillside,

 sunbathers glisten and swimmers slipslide into the waves

 while white, flat-roofed houses perch

 waiting to watch the sun set.


I look and recall hot sun on my back,

 a lime-stone pavement with coloured crickets,

 the scent of wild rosemary in an abandoned olive-grove,

 sea soft on my skin with darting fish between my toes.


Hot days, still nights

 sweet honey, sharp ouzo.


Someone else’s postcard

 of a place I’ve never been

 carries me back to Thessaly,

 swift as a rare black falcon

 over Kyra Panagyia.





you sing

radiant youth beyond

boundaries bold

yet scared


the future looms

alive with rhythm and music


I watch

astounded by beauty

confidence power

to move forward


forty-three today

I see you seventeen

my son

and know you have outgrown me



on rocks in mid-stream


a simple step across

immeasurable distance


a Japanese garden

a mountain range

an old man’s chin craggy

and foliaged with whiskers


a mossy coated damp rock

slithering down to meet

the pool and the tumbling



four colours green

pale moss dark deep

against the tippled reflections

of a smoking sky




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