Michael Kimber

Sunday Afternoon - Poem by Michael Kimber

Sunday Afternoon.

Country folk may not know this scene.
Rows of estate ‘semi’s’ with rivers of gardens in between.
With ‘townies’ trying to enjoy their own little patch.
A week-end treat, ‘neath’ the terra-cotta thatch.
This Sunday Afternoon.

The pale sapphire of the afternoon sky,
moves gradually to darker shades.
And gently streaked with lacy white;
denies the sun a place to hide.
What colour is the sky above?
In subtle change of hue it merges dawn and dusk,
each hour a different canvas, none more perfect than now.
The sun, more yellow now than the fiery globe of it’s birth,
is warm and comforting.
Perhaps a little more than comfort,
for stinging arms and legs foretell a fretful night.
This Sunday afternoon.

The silvery tinkle as the little waterfall,
empties into the inky blackness of the pool.
Perpetual motion in this private world,
this miniature of man-made aquatica.
It’s residents, orange and gold,
flash as they rise to seize a tasty insect morsel.
The water surface ripples,
accentuated by the magic of the liquid prism.
Summer visitors push their heads through the surface tension,
where half submerged, they sit and croak.
While others more adventurous still, climb out to the warm stones to bask.
This Sunday afternoon.

Little birds flutter and hop. Sparrows uncertain,
unsure if they dare to investigate the little house on the pole.
But brave Finches fly off victorious, their beaks full of seed,
while up above the Crows and Magpies squabble.
Their raucous shouts persistent,
each trying to oust the other from a nearby tree.
Determined they swoop and dive,
to drive them from the favoured branches of the Ash.
She, resplendent in her new clothes of foliage fresh and green,
her drooping arms trying like a crinoline, to reach the ground.
The latest canopy fashion, hiding a private place.
This Sunday afternoon.

Below them lies the patchwork ribbon of gardens,
multi-coloured like Joseph’s coat.
Thousands of heads in every hue sway to the welcome breeze,
amid patches of green and brown; gardens backed on to gardens.
They join side by side to form a piebald river,
between rows of gardeners castles.
Their terra-cotta roofs sport smokeless bastion towers,
sprouting thin metal branches enticing a virtual world.
Winged travellers sit heavily on these precarious perches,
and rest awhile before flying off once more.
Unerringly they swoop to the next stage of their journey.
This Sunday afternoon.

Nearby the sound of children playing,
bright laughter and dark tears.
The whine of machinery, as somewhere a lawn is assailed,
already smooth as a bowling green - needlessly denuded.
Beyond the roofs a yapping dog sets forth to chase the noisy bike,
its bark overwhelmed by screeching engine, its eager legs out-run.
A window opens; a secret entrance to a teenage world,
submerging what peace remains beneath a thumping beat.
Its message loud loud loud, for some who cannot bide to hear,
and those who come from another age, trudge wearily inside.
Hiding, safe, behind the double glazing.
This Sunday afternoon.

Another Sunday, sadly gone the way of most,
no peace, no quiet to enjoy the scene,
The book remains unread, a paper dart to find the place,
the pen laid aside, all inspiration gone.
But the birds, the fish, the frogs,
and the neighbours’s cat as well remain unmoved.
Perhaps somehow they didn’t notice,
or could it be they just don’t care?
And anyway, it doesn’t matter any more for look,
once more the sky has changed.
It’s coming on to rain again.
This Sunday Afternoon.

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Poem Submitted: Saturday, December 24, 2011

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