“Mauritius”

I expected setting up a blog to make me more creative, at the very least starting a little creative burst. But what I didn’t expect was for it to suddenly make me a much more vigorous critic of my old writings.

I didn’t want to start off with a half-finished half-baked poem, so I found a recently updated poem that I thought was a good “debut”, but I’ve been tinkering with it for a couple of hours now, finding small holes and imperfections. There are still a few problems with it, but it’s much closer to where it should be.

Mauritius from a bus
Mauritius from a bus

Mauritius

Same bus, same pre-dawn view,
Same seat in the back corner.
Barely awake, I slump forward
and nod at passing mopeds.

My heart-beat slows to near-sleep,
eyes glassed with lolling thoughts:
my life now, my life then,
my life to come.

My life now – A blue folder,
a pre-planned conversation,
leading to a discussion and
correction of minor grammar.

My life then – school, university,
friends, family, a summer holiday
in Mauritius: beaches, sugar canes,
green volcanic mountains in the sun –

and suddenly, the two lives coincide.
The bus flings right for a roundabout
and my seeing and unseeing eyes merge.
Ahead, the rising sun
lights up the waving cane.
A dust track winds through a
glowing field. Behind, a white wisp
clips a jagged mountain top,
A distant ramshackle town at its base,
and brilliant blinding sunlight
shakes me conscious.

We pull round the roundabout, and
glancing back, I see the reedy bush,
not sugar cane.
The road signs read in Spanish,
and my neighbours jabber in Catalan.
But for one, brief second,
I was not here, but then.

My life to come – every week,
I wake at that turn to gaze into
Mauritius.

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