Belgian Sobranie

(To a historic blend)

Small print signs
hang in the lobby
so cleanly swept
Atop
the city white
where vigilance
is kept,
long silent
guns of Rambouillet
(fantasies of Navarone)
meetings
announced
discretely
by tinkers
in the rain
hours
from Berlin
Baghdad
or Bondsteel
by ancient train,
beneath
the dripping towers
the blind
beyond the gates
restraint
pretended,
by November
ended,
another August
surely waits.

Dr T.P. Wilkinson writes, teaches History and English, directs theatre and coaches cricket between the cradles of Heine and Saramago. He is also the author of Church Clothes, Land, Mission and the End of Apartheid in South Africa. Read other articles by T.P..