Editing the Timescape

Editing the Timescape

We spent the day on a slip road hitching out of Rome,
you were dusted brown, sunlight in the hills,
our thirst like a desert full of cactus teeth.

Scorpions scuttled around us, fidgeting our bones
bleaching in the breathless heat, a blank Bank Holiday
and hence no cars on this cinerated highway.

Romans were home in blue apartments, filleting the shade,
hidden behind peeled shutters on polished marble floors,
tending indoor waterplants in high, elegant rooms.

The streets we'd left howling in the traffic's tight embrace;
an alabaster bath refracting heated light
through pink pulsing water curling from the taps

you turned like a silversmith pewtering a vase.
This room too we'd left behind after a blissful rest
from the unwashed journey, absconding from the south

and the myth of Corfuan beaches halting time and space.
There, hours were spent in seconds, seconds transformed to weeks,
you allowing silvers of sand to turn your hourglass hands

to the only timepiece possible beneath those green cliffs, Pelekas.
We'd used an ecstasy of moments strung along that shore,
counting the sum of previous lives we might have lived

had we not settled on the place and poisoned it,
drunk the sap of olive juice and perjured ourselves.
So when the ship and lorries emerging from it's hold

took us to the coming winter's rising amber moons,
we found ourselves alone again, drifting on this road,
till finally a Fiat stopped, slaking our thirst to move,

escape the city's humming sense, the clock's mechanic course,
north-east across the highlands vast systemic spine
and dropping to a sunfled coast. Once more the hourless sea

was turning back the hands of the moonsprung tide.
We knew then our future lives were lying there,
that we would now, forever, be editing the timescape.

Categorized as Poems

By Arthur Richardson

Very part time poem maker. Retired from paid work.

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