end of the line

old friend from better times

came & stayed a while

parked up his ancient camper

telling tales of the roadside

Spain France Ireland

being on the road

games people play

got him to lime render

a sagging ancient wall

in return for his place to park

evening meal each day

occasionally touching

the sadness he held at bay

end of a troubled marriage

the child he now never saw

after a month being around

came the time him to go

we shook hands slow

looking into his eyes

catching the hidden tears

wishing him well on his way

next I heard he’d passed away

parked in his old loves drive

heart attack & gone

to the old travelling warriors grave

the mind

not that I didn’t have a ready eye

for any stray beauty flying by

more that it was always the mind

made me keep coming alongside

the being kind considerate

having read thought about books

life culture the important things

that make any poor life worth living

holding me more than good looks

kept me warm on long winter nights

I find it rare to find the combination

as beauty once told forgets that fades

feels no need for thought imagination

everything has unfolded no effort made

& I was too poor my thin wallet to trade

for conversation travelling hard thinking

asking the difficult questions in life

Atlantic coast

the kind of campsite

where if you don’t hear the roar

of the trees the pines

you hear the surf night & day

the season was closing fast

everybody local had gone away

when I found him in the shadows

he told me he was travelling

with jesus

hoping to find his way

between here & Santiago

& those I asked are your plans?

more for fear for him

with winter closing in

as I noticed jesus had not provided shoes

a tent winter coat or map

& he sighed long & low

like this question was raised by everybody

by fools who did not know

the lord is here with us now

he said smiling again

who needs shoes on holy ground?

& all I could see were shadows

stones & sand

a scruffy dirty traveller

standing alone

questioning just who

was the mad one

here

so many times

I convinced myself

I was homeward bound

to some place external

internalised

the table spread before me

bounty of love laid out

ready for the taking

with no asking

as

a body has to have

something to aim for

a place to be

other than the here

struggling with timetables

trains bus’es planes

fatigue of head heart

wondering just wondering

where or when this will end

& home

the fantasy of

the only lure

to bring us closer

to moving on

the spain I miss

backroads covered in dust

wild dogs eating roadside goat

café tabac bars dry doughnuts

hams hanging from the ceiling

swaying in the cigarette smoke

sweating into paper cups

strange faces with a soft smile

for the stranger guarded

yet open to what may come next

miles of olive trees

on ancient sculpted ground

black bulls standing ferociously

waiting for death in the afternoon

gold fields where the wheat has been

dry rivers to walk in the mornings

travelling for miles hoping to find

cold beers tapas into long evenings