Mine is black leather, many pockets,
full of tubes and shampoos, just in case medicines and plasters,
phone chargers, cardis, panties in corners,
clothes rolled tightly to avoid creases.
An ark for various shoes.
His is brown leather, and still roomy,
shirts and trousers ready for hanging,
pyjamas and underpants
toilet bag, little else.
And if there are no hangers in the hotel wardrobe
it is the worst hotel on the planet.
romantic supper for two
tent pitched beside a sea loch
camping over the Easter holiday
later that night
a storm arises
I peer out the tent flap
watch the tide
edging closer and closer
driven before the wind
lose my nerve
imagining us washed away
I uproot the tent
carry it on my back
up the track to higher ground
she follows in the car
re-erected on the mountainside
our tent now about to be
blown (rather than washed) away
spend the rest of the night
holding the tent frame together
my arms outstretched
Bring not tables nor chairs
come with hands empt
spread yourself on Mothers blanket
let dusk dew dampen
wait in whispers
sip slowly an aperitif of blackbird
nibble a starter of rabbit
a main of bats
queen of all desserts
a clan of badgers
all served on a ladle of love.
All mum needed
was a tailgate
and a two-burner Camping Gaz stove
to make a day trip perfect
the lodger’s car
was full of
me (guardian of the washing-up bowl)
red plastic stools with removable legs
and dad if he wasn’t driving
to every point in the Warrington compass
in a Corpie double-decker
was to spend the day
with a tut on his lips and eyes cast heavenwards
I flick the pages, wonder
if a tour of Hell with Virgil
as a guide would go down well.
A circle every day, full board,
surprise old friends and chat;
there’s nothing wrong with that.
And all that suffering and shit!
Better than a thousand sermons.
Yes, a trip into the depths
might do us sinners good, provide
some warmth on February days
before we reconnect with our en suites
and follow earthly ways.
Luggage: Oh, the joy of travel, that hotel to forget, etc. Here’s a poem by Roddy Lumsden
A vacation remembered (unfortunately!)