Cirencester Scene February 2018



Poetry by Frank McMahon



This is where we came, here, to the river

for the first time, along the rutted path,

cowslips, bluebells jostling at the edge; past

the dandelion meadow, its pale-white

sheet of puffballs waiting to be blown and cast.

Together to the river to explore

the glistening flow of water, vigorous

and sinuous, limpid rills and ripples

beneath the cobalt sky and canopy

of iridescent green. Each moment

folding into itself the heat, intense

upon our face, the stones’ cool splash and spray,

shouts and birdsong; each uplifted stone setting

free the grains of memory, when we were

also held, entranced, imagination’s

captives in the bubble of our dreams.



It takes a big leap of the imagination

to see the line of descent from dinosaur to

blackbird, until you view the fossil record. But

you still can’t quite collapse fifty million years into

an hour’s time-frame. Think then instead about falling

in love and being in love. Falling, but  more

crucially, being caught in passion’s net, held or trapped

depending. Two tyros learning their moves on high-wire

or trapeze, diving earthwards, hands outstretched. Maybe

love really begins when they both discard the net.





Five, irregular hypotenuse, small

to tall, two seconds still until they burst

upon the playground, all whirl, heat and noise,

riding the iron steeds as if lift-off

could be conjured, hooves dragging chariots,

sweat slathering the straining flanks, the crowd

tip-toe, bets made and lost, fervour, fever.

Except one, the sixth, beyond us all, should

be running towards us, arms out, headlong.



Our new home sits on a tilting hill, peals

of bells hung from the passing clouds; night-time

music, notes filling the space between the stars,

rubato nudging the rings of Saturn.