Poetry and Pictures from Tyneside by Alan Hartley

tyne poetry headerPhotograph ©Carol Haynes.

The Last Day

last day flowerThe last day would have been like any other day,
Different in only one unique way,
It was the last.

You would have noticed how the first light came,
Diffused above a distant silhouette,
Rolling quickly, gently on,
Feeling out faint shapes until each field, each tree, each hill
Would stand bright-lit in all the hues
Of morning, just as they always did
At first sunrise. And you would have held
That vision in your mind, if only you had known.

You would have heard the sky sing out that day,
Filling the rising dawn with glorious sound
Of speckled thrush ringing bright notes
Above the common choir singing from every bush.
And perhaps you would have been aware
That all around familiar voices, gentle tones,
The sigh of wind, the sound of leaves, the splash of water rush,
Were waiting to be heard, if only you had known.

You would have felt the roughness of the oak,

Smoothness of porcelain, softness of spider web.
You would have known the thrill of bitter wind,
The warmth of sudden sun, the wet of shower rain,
The shock of sharpened steel, the calm of silk,
The pleasure of a lover's touch.
All that flesh would know of sensual pleasure, pain,
You would have felt that day, if only you had known. 

You would have breathed sharp morning air,
Filled with faint, tingling, tempting smells,
Filtering secretly into your consciousness.
How sharp the tang of sage and thyme,
How sweet the scent of wild moss rose,
How soft the smell of fresh turned soil,
How good the taste of oven loaf and honest wine.
You would have cherished these, if only you had known.

So much you would have tasted, touched, heard, seen,
If only you had known,
This was the day.