Poem of the Month, April 2017: Girl on a Tram

GIRL ON A TRAM

Old age encounters girlhood
on a tram from Benidorm.
Reflections on the norm. 

Our tram is tracing
her dry bushy track
through the coastal countryside.

The girl on the tram
was fourteen, I’d say.
Her dark eyes gazed into mine. 

Wilderness of pale brown
rock and wild flowers
sloping down to the sea.

I doubt whether I’ll ever
forget the way
she looked into my eyes.

I had to take my eyes away –
she was staring
deep into my soul.

I had no defence.
Sheepishly I turned away,
looked out the window.

Fear is the enemy
of happiness.
Only love can conquer it.

That girl on the tram –
will I ever forget her?
Unlikely, I think.

If perfect beauty
still exists, it was visible
in that girl’s face.

Her dark oval eyes
still gaze into the depths
of my hesitant soul.

The feeling
that nothing really matters
marked our trip to Benidorm.

What haunts me
is the thought that these poems of mine
are going nowhere.

Let go of unnecessary ideas
and put things in perspective.

Her frank disarming gaze
penetrated
to the depths of my being.

I still see those
utterly expressionless eyes
gazing into mine.

Thought dissolves into
empty-mindedness,
speech turns into nembutsu.

Manna to the soul –
moments of meditation
in Alicante.

(Three days later) 

I found myself staring
at her deep dark eyes
and dreaming of Kuan Yin.

To inflict as little
pain as possible
is one of my main goals.

The fast tram back
to El Campello skims past
everlasting beaches.

Neptune is the most spiritual
planet, and is now
at her strongest.

What else have those eyes
seen since they encountered mine?
I will never know.

Does the utter nonsense
on Spanish news
bother those heavenly eyes?

Trees in a park.
Any old trees, any old park,
flash past the window.

I tremble like a jelly
remembering what her eyes
did to me.

Reading these poems
on our last day in Las Ramblas
I’m still impressed.

I never spoke to her.
I only saw her once.
Always remembered.

Brujas, 13 de marzo ’17.