What borders do

entry picture


In the mirror I held a face

that held a face's stare,

In that mirror

the face that stared

stared back at me in fear...


They came upon slowing traffic.

Inside a war-torn bus

standing passengers were gently rocked.

They were driven along an unfinished road.

Unfinished roads were you

become convinced

that each rock and pothole

were placed carefully in order

to discomfit the passengers,

to remind them of their poverty.


They passed the sun-glassed occupants

of cars and busses

and the rolled-up sleeves of lorry drivers.

Tanned arms hung out of windows;

fingers tapping an unheard beat.


The foot-worn passengers

clutching the free tickets to

a roll-call of loss and desperation,


Walking- just.


They stooped to stare at the dancing distance

of heat waves rising from

the baked highway.


Asphalt arteries.


They gripped passports,

Identity papers, rosary- beads

'Letters of transit'

but they were not needed;

the border did what most borders do-

it shrugged them through.


Smiles become all languages.



Later, I sat staring out the window of a bar-

hardly blinking.

A bus stopped and people got off.


A dog scratched.

The sky was blue and cloudless.

The poor -the confused and naked poor-

had gone where the confused and naked go-

somewhere else.


I lifted a cold drink.


Then Jez turned to me and asked:

"Is this what it's like to be drunk?"

I smiled as I slid my wine towards her...



words and foto T Carroll

Re-draft no 6

◄ The Astronomer

Absinthe (for Stu) ;-) ►


Lynn Hamilton

Tue 8th Sep 2015 12:56

Oh bugger *there!

Lynn Hamilton

Tue 8th Sep 2015 09:28

Tommy. Have to say I agree with Martin. I love the line 'asphalt arteries' just hanging their on it's own. x

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Martin Elder

Mon 7th Sep 2015 22:47

this has got to be one of your best yet Tommy. I particularly like the opening stanza around the mirror.

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