Cotswold Summer

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There is a moment in the Cotswold year
When the rolling wheat fields
Summon the golden hue of the stone
On which all is built:

It is the baked brown of a village
Ripe upon the history of the hills;
The colour of summer made hay
Adhering to the sparse pasture

And bitten at by shaggy sheep.
It is light to warm the heart
And grow roses from the sun
Still kept at dusk

In the envoys of the warm bricks
Radiating in ochre moods
As the jasmine clad night enfolds
All within its sumptuous scents.

© Ben Truesdale and distilledvoice, 2016

Tourist

At first they’re ghosts,
puffy eyed and white as money,
unpeeling themselves from the cocoon of the plane.

Then they are red as shellfish,
wearing shades and fear
as if their flight hibernation
were still clinging
and predators were crouched
behind every door.

Then after a few days of sun,
stupid in the heat,
they flick notes and order cokes
and beers before midday,
and lie idle with a book rested
on the bridge of their nose.

Then they eat out:
breakfast, lunch and dinner, dispensing currency as if
they weren’t sure what it meant,
fingers fumbling like a stutter’s punctuated speech.

And then their skin
becomes brown and golden
and they find their wits
and barter skill, becoming fluid.
Yet still they are adrift our money, and play careless with phones beyond our reach and watches from TV and jewlery adorning, as if they inhabited another world where affluence is a normal, everyday right
not a rarity for the people.

 

copyright 2016 Ben Truesdale & distilledvoice

 

Authenticity

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With a face from the front cover of the National Geographic the old man carries the burden of paddy baskets with entrepreneurial spirit, balancing his load for each photographer and grinning with a toothy and well practised smile. More than anyone else, he knows the value of authenticity and clucks eagerly for the next shutter click to capture his own in the stillness of film.

 

copyright 2016 Ben Truesdale & distilledvoice

Facebook Terrorist

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Every holiday snap
Is a slap
Right across your face,
Dear reader, watcher, liker,
Cos I’m the smug vacation maker
Whose wall you’ve reluctantly
Signed to yours.
And if you were here
I’d bore you to tears
But as you’re not
I’ll just smack you across the chops
With how lovely a time
I’m having
Under the smug sun
Next to the smug water
In the smug dream
That stinks
Of all the self importance
I could manageably conjure.

 

copyright 2016 Ben Truesdale & distilledvoice

Surf Rises

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Surf rises
To the mirror lip sun,
A moment before
White thrall,
Loose of integrity
And slack
Of reer-up and shore call,
Pales the deep blue
To a lighter shade.

Near the rocks
Haze moistens the air
With sticky salt
Greasy on every surface
And root grasping trees
Survey the consistent pulse
From high, squinting promontories
Stark against the prevailing horizons
And the sea changing sky.

copyright 2016 Ben Truesdale & distilledvoice

Sunset

Sun skinned
Boys
Delight
In the day’s final hour,
Frolicking on the jetty
And blue beside,
Wrestling each other,
Daring, jumping in and out,
Diving from the rocks,
Shouting language
From their boisterous mouths:
Dipping their matte skin
In Mediterranean
And coming out
Anointed in the gold
Of liquid
Painted by
By the sun’s
Last moment.

© Ben Truesdale and distilledvoice, 2015