Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Into the Poetry Archive...

I've been writing poetry for some time now - nearly 30 years to be precise. My first proper one was called "Whirlwind" and a lot of people seemed to like it. I have a vague notion it's up in the attic somewhere, so maybe I will dig it out some day.

Thinking about this, I happened to wonder what sort of poetry I was writing ten years ago, back in 2001. I was 25, had been in gainful employment for about 18 months, was still living at home with my parents. Naturally one would expect me to be at the peak of my creative powers, a cheery and carefree style dominating, peppered with chirpy asides and delivered with confidence, perhaps even brio. Unfortunately the reality was somewhat different, and a dip into the archive brings up quite a lot of poetry that is, frankly, quite depressing!

It wasn't all doom and gloom, however. Here's a little something I came up with after taking the rail journey from Fort William to Mallaig, which has to be one of the most gorgeous train rides on the planet. Anyone who has done the journey should be able to identify some of the places I went past - extra points to you if you can.


On the West Highland Line

From the least inspiring
Town in the north
A single iron road runs
Westward, to the Isles.

A long lochside journey -
Outward Bound.
Tracking the tarmac
Across the Rough Bounds.

Curving stones arch-monumental.
This is the place of landing,
Far from the place of weeping -
We all move on.

Past hill and glen and loch and stream
Then sand and sea and shore
To views that (quite litorally)
Take my breath away.

From white sand coves
To glitter-blue northern ocean
And those distant jagged islands
All crowd for ones attention

Until the iron road ends
Where the boats begin...
And the only way back
Is to enjoy it all over again.

(c) Mike Amberry, 2001

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