Prickly Pear

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A shabby and uncherishable growth,

it is at first unrecognised and scarcely noticed

as you make a roadside halt, your visitor’s eye

lured by distant iconic vistas. And so,


inveigled always beyond the details,

you appraise each photo op, framing,

say, the Silent City raised up against the sky

on self-absorbed strategic heights;


or lose yourself in contemplation,

gazing through the Azure Window,

its accidental rock a masterpiece

shaped by the weather’s bag of tricks –


a monument to impermanence

where, returning, you can see at your feet

the evidence of countless tiny deaths

that went to form the island,


remembering, too, that the citadel

was built on fear. And later at the tourists’

market, jostled by crowds and trapped,

you sample the liquor of the prickly pear –


sweetish and pink, a shot of fire 

laced with recognition, for now you’ll see it

everywhere in spiked mittens

scrabbling over a drystone wall,


or the breeze block ruins of an outhouse.

Unprepossessing, thuggish,

it hoards its life and moisture in the fibrous

tangle of an impenetrable heart.


◄ Le Petit Parisien, 1952

Mill Girl ►


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Fri 10th Mar 2017 17:45

There is a kind of assurance to your writing drawn from experience of the craft and this poem is a classic example that is like a journey from the general to the particular - you end up with knowing exactly what you are reading.
Thanks for putting this up David.


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Paul Waring

Thu 9th Mar 2017 18:47

David, just like the other poems you've posted on here that I've commented on, another beautifully written piece. I yearn to develop this style of writing. Very enjoyable, thanks.


<Deleted User> (13762)

Wed 8th Mar 2017 20:05

Just heard the Azure Window has collapsed into the sea! What's going on!

<Deleted User> (13762)

Wed 8th Mar 2017 19:03

this is terrific David but did you mean to repeat the whole poem twice? I've been scrolling up and down trying to work it out. It's very good so I didn't mind reading it through again. All the best, Colin

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