Poetry by Nathalie Buckland

Nathalie Buckland

Beside the road

Glistening crystal fragments
litter the tarmac.
The wrecked car seems from here
a sculpture of twisted metal
listing, wheels removed,
stuffing spilling from seats—

An hour ago I passed it, mildly dented,
sitting on all its wheels,
waiting, I thought,
for rescue
beneath the sheltering trees, its windows down,
towels flung in the back;
anticipation of a weekend jaunt

We call the wreckers vandals
and we fear
what bubbles in their blood,
buzzes in their brains,
the overwhelming frenzy
that consumes them.
But maybe they, abused,
abuse in turn a car.

The wreck will be removed;
only the shards will linger here a while,
but where
where will the anger go?


I never met him,
someone else’s damaged child
grown to manhood
carrying his parents’ hopes
his own bright dreams
too heavy on his shoulders

rehabilitation –
like school, he played for praise
sought approbation, cleansed his body
battled with his mind
and graduated healed

the drab routine
of Welfare, then a job – a fabricated job
each day the same
and back to dreary lodgings…

how could he resist
the glamour and the soaring flight
the great escape, the risk?
careful at first and secretive
he sipped
forbidden fruit the sweeter
greedy veins implore
more … more …

and she
knocking anxious at his door
calling his name
enters a room
empty of breath redolent of death
the needle dangling still
his body… colours people should not be,
are not when blood is moving
dials and people come
uniforms, lights flashing,
stretcher, statements
the covering of his face

over for him
for others just begun

I never met him.

Old women busking

The busy street
 swirls with action –

spilling from cafes
clumping at cash-points
people are jostling
talking, shouting,
laughing, arguing.

Children dart and weave
bright threads among the crowd,
Elders tread with
careful feet
youths loll and pose.

Shoppers and browsers
sellers and idlers
part around us as we –
taking our notes –
begin to sing
in three part harmony.

The footpath stills
voices quieten
cameras click and flash
our alchemy
changes for a moment the faces…
and my heart.

(‘Old women busking’ previously published in ‘Shards & Figments, Poems by Nathalie Buckland, a self-published book sold locally by the author.)