Treasure Island

Tony Jolley

(17th June 1958 / England)

Pavements and Partings


The pavement waters parted…
No need for a Moses:

On one side an old man
Engaged in an eternal struggle
Trying and failing
(Or succeeding so excruciatingly slowly
It was impossible to tell which)
To evenly balance the two meagre shopping bags
On each side of his rickety old handlebars
As if just an ounce or two either way
Might topple him from his precarious perch,
His bike frame,
Tailored to the length and strength of his youth,
Now seeming to have outgrown him
By a good two or three sizes:
His ‘S’ to the stainless steel and chrome ‘XL’.

On the other,
Another was lovingly easing his lady’s delicate bones
Into the passenger seat of their car
As softly as one might set down
A see-through bone china cup upon its genteel saucer.

The mountain ranges of older ages
Were casting their first faint shadows
Upon our middle ageing valley.
The metaphor wasn’t lost on me:
We would be raised up
Before we’re finally laid low –
That much was plain to see……..

Submitted: Tuesday, April 01, 2008
Edited: Tuesday, April 01, 2008

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Comments about this poem (Pavements and Partings by Tony Jolley )

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  • Alison Cassidy (4/3/2008 7:34:00 PM)

    This demands the reader's attention - partly because of the fascinating subject matter and partly because of the accessible writing style. Whimsical and compassionate with a faint smile in the telling. Your final stanza is superb. So glad Helen 'introduced us' he he. A fellow person peeper, I see. love, Allie ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ (Report) Reply

  • Paul Hamer (4/2/2008 7:39:00 AM)

    From a side on perspective eye with my little eye saw 'S' as the shape of the old geyser pedaling the bike,
    maybe 'life' is becoming too big for you tony.... (Report) Reply

  • Original Unknown Girl (4/2/2008 3:44:00 AM)

    Sensitive and perceptive write. You artistically painted a picture so cleverly that I felt I was there witnessing the event. I love the 'S' to the 'XL' - innovative! (I find myself thinking of Allie Cassidy's writes when reading this - take a peek - if you haven't already) ! Great poem Tony. HG: -) xx (Report) Reply

  • Not a member No 4 (4/1/2008 4:26:00 PM)

    Just read your bio Tony. Looks like a case of the last item assiting the release/development of the others! Progress on all fronts there. Sensitive and appropriately paced quality observation poem that looks beyond the surface details with insight, realism and self awareness. It's the 'Human Situation'. You captured it to perfection. jim (Report) Reply

  • Kevin Wells (4/1/2008 2:15:00 PM)

    The mountain ranges of older ages...casting their first faint shadows - beautiful. (Report) Reply

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