Jean Bernard Parr

Bronze Star - 2,926 Points (26th May.1946 / Sallanches, France)

Car Radio - Poem by Jean Bernard Parr

There is a storm for two days
a wolfish fur-lined sea
I sit in cradle-rocked car
with the radio on, and thinking
how hard opening the door would be.

The branches of trees maniacal
and inside sugarlit seafront houses
ovens bake nice and even
but deep underground
you can sense that moving treacle.

above all the deep down stirring
there are disappointments
across the table
children who won't do
when they are able.

here will be women
left to cope
because a bloke thinks
there is no hope,
you see, he has a secret plan,
set himself a deadline.

He has found a girl who is just divine
but he doesn't know
what goes on underground
he thinks his world is solid state
when it's nothing of the kind.

When the lovers' hand
is transparent and thin
with veins like twigs
under ice of winter pond
the battery gone
in the doorbell gong
remember this
with the radio on

And in the hallway is a stick
with a badge on it from Keswick
and the campervan
green-roofed, and up on bricks

Grandma once said about
someone who is dead
'he always got out of his chair
and stood to attention
when anyone mentioned
Wellington or Napoleon'

I was a kid, but understood
war made you do things
I imagined a puppet
standing up all jerky
tangled up in strings and wires
a private, who knows
the generals are all liars.

This comes to me
with the radio on
I'm here, tell them I'm here
but the wind is telling me
there is no-one there.

What if there was nothing
to diminish this broiling sky,
a ladle stir of darkening noon
where the best you could hope for
is a low and foggy sun
from which loping shadows loom.

A troupe of gipsy travellers
fan out like lichen on a rock
stoop for kindling,
their wily dogs orbit with
door mat hair, devoid of dread
the women nurse a knot of tinsel red
voice scraps, sharp angled
as the fluttering pennant
at the clattering masthead.
A skein of blue smoke unravels
along the brooding shore
and beyond, the islands bulk
and take a breath for the next
thousand years
all this is here and near
with the radio on

Topic(s) of this poem: dream girl

Poet's Notes about The Poem

A man waits in a car by the shore for a storm to pass

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Poem Submitted: Saturday, January 9, 2016

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