Cotswold Summer


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


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


Facebook Terrorist


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

Southern French Village

The boulangerie
Opens its sleepy eye
To the bird tweeting village
And looks upon
A once neat boulevard
Aged to a trunk lumpy
Old woman, clucking
Pleasantries as she ambles
With white crusty bread
To her shutter clad dwelling
Limp on its hinges
But crookedly beautiful
With time.

Her garden is put to work:
A crop of gnarled tomatoes
Fruiting in pastel lanterns,
Grapes yellowing
And freckled on the vine
And a font
Where honey oozes
Through the faucets
Of voluptuous figs,
Loosened and falling
As purses unclasped
And relaxing
Amid the gravel
In which herbs muster volatile
In air sweetened
To Provençal notes
And excited to fragrance
By a brush past
Or even the sun
Hot in the radiating stones.

© Ben Truesdale and distilledvoice, 2015

The Dream Of The Balancelle


En Francais
Il es une balancelle

In English
A swinging chair

Hung in the languid air
Shaded by the rustling oaks

And caressed
By a honeyed breeze

In to which
The birds twitter

So the mind
Is temperate

As the perfect afternoon
And thoughts

Are spaced
As the young apple

And the quince tree
In the orchard

And time
Is the lolling arm

Let loose
From a snooze

And the comfortable rocking,
Gently to and fro,

Dans le reve
De la balancelle.

© Ben Truesdale and distilledvoice, 2015


Just saying the word
Is enough to quell
Its worrisome opposite.

You appear
To have swelled in breath
And buoyancy

Around the chest.
And more,
Your face is full

And your eyes
Are lit,
And your smile

Has spread
So a yellow sunrise

And the summer
And you

As much
As you reflect.

© Ben Truesdale and distilledvoice, 2015.

For Mima