On nights like this there was love,
a softness like fireflies in the darkness.
On nights like these there were Artists
and Poets creating wonder along The Seine.
On nights like these, the air exudes a pungent perfume
of café au lait in softly lit bistros.
And Paris was a proud mother, of cultured sons
and daughters like yours and mine.
Oh proud man look at the husks you leave in the red mist,
the tattered piles of misery, spat from a gun.
Oh proud man, watch love burn in The Jungle
watch as Paris looks for water lily skies again.
Oh proud man, see your angels descending
to wrap red clay around your body.
And I recall an Author who wrote that only the dead
arrive home and take their mother’s coffee.
*The last line is taken from The Road. Peter Riley.
The Glacial Stairway. Carcanet 2011