As I'm on holidays, I thought I'd put up a poem I wrote based on an experience on last year's hols, in the same place. In this part of France, the towns and villages hold 'Marchés Nocturnes' or 'Soirées Gourmandes' - where they basically turn the town square into a food hall. Delicious food is available to buy, and there is usually some sort of entertainment. Last year, at 'Creysse', where they do a fish-based marché, they had musicians. And I watched, and the writer in me produced this. This poem was published in 'Circle Time', the Dalkey Writers Workshop anthology, last autumn.
Sorry, nothing about past lives this time, but an enormous celebration of the lives we are living now...
Serried poplars, pinkening sky
garlic and mussel scented air
guitar and accordion set up their cry-
it is time to dance at the night fair.
Plump and bald answer the call,
wives in hand, remembering when
these were sylph-girls at a Hunters' Ball:
thought they would always be young men.
Ancient lessons guide them round
on easy moving feet
that music such a familiar sound,
a happy lilting beat.
They look down with loving eyes,
smile through all the years
connectedness that never dies
enhanced by local wine, or beers
which ooze out of a million pores
and stain two dozen shirts,
wives fatter now than years before
and wearing longer skirts
but in his eyes the very girl
he held so close back then,
this gentle move the self-same whirl:
old bodies still contain young men.