Stopover

by Annette Snyckers

Like carton cut-outs, row upon row,
the mountains shift past the car window –
bruise-blue, grey-blue,
to the palest shade of sky –
we travel through a land bereft of rain
where poplars on farms
flutter gold and amber
and palm trees lean in the wind –
tall and tolerant, they wave
black shadows over solitary white houses.
The dirt road sails like a snake through dips
and over ridges of the foothills —
far ahead a car drags a streamer of dust
through the afternoon heat.

Four hours from the city
my mind leaves behind the clutter,
content to hum in thinking
of nothing much —
and how tonight I’ll sleep in a place
where stars splutter silver light
over a black velvet night
and where the church bell strikes —
every quarter hour
that remains of my life.

Things

by Annette Snyckers

Things crowd in
this summer afternoon
of late sunlight
on a gunmetal sea

Things I try to push away,
not wanting them
to crawl and multiply
in this secluded place

Things I cannot allow
to foul my fought-for days
and staked-out solitude,
things that smell of smut

Things that buzz and beat
against the computer screen
wanting out, out, out
reeking of retribution

It rained this morning,
the heat is broken
and so is the spell
I have spun around myself

Unravelled it is, cleft
like a cocoon cut open
exposing my unready heart
to the words on the screen

Look, see, read:
The things said and done
by people to people:
Things I want undone.

Close the Door

Close the Door by Angela Prew

Close the door
shut out the world
sink into an armchair
alone

Choose solitude not loneliness.
Loneliness is
the absence of company,
of friends, family,
of people met in the street,
in supermarkets,
or sitting in the next seet.
Loneliness leaves a discontent
that eats the soul.

To choose solitude,
to escape the daily rush,
the confusion, the noise,
to close the door
find an empty beach,
to sit beneath a tree
and look up at mountains,
brain in neutral,
problems banished,
maybe a book on the knee.

That is to know
true luxury.