"Seven bums and fourteen legs,
a brazen ecstasy which begs
the question some of us are asking -
is Peter Goulding multi-tasking?"

Martin Parker, Editor, Lighten Up Online

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Poetry Bus - this ticket could be a forgery

Okay, this week's Poetry Bus is being driven by the heroine of two weeks ago, NanU.
The task this week is to write a poem somewhere where we would not normally write. Sadly, I have a tendency to write anywhere and everywhere, while doing the washing up, at traffic lights, in work etc, so I can't think of anywhere I don't write.
I will therefore proffer this pretty grubby, and somewhat dodgy, three month-old ticket. The poem was written on top of a Bavarian Alp, in the Kehlsteinhaus near Berchtesgaden, with stunning views on all four sides. I am not in the habit of writing on top of Bavarian Alps.

The Eagle’s Nest

So this is where he stood
and gazed out from his nest
after an ascent so treacherous,
one slip could have sent him
plummeting down the precipice.
Did he cast a stony face
upon the verdant valley
and tranquil lake below
and think beautiful thoughts?
Perched atop this jagged mountain
where the thin air, it is said,
often induces light-headedness,
did his eyes moisten
when he turned to his homeland,
almost within his grasp
yet so far from his lofty perch,
the endless vista, as always,
threatened by the muttering clouds?


  1. Ooh, this is a really good one! As soon as I saw "Berchtesgaden" I got some shivers. I was nearby to the spot in '77 and was motivated at that time to write a more blatant exploration of this father figure.

    I like your subtleties much better.


  2. Whoa! This is powerful, Peter.

  3. This is not at all dodgy! Or grubby! I think it's a great poem. I'll bet his eyes did moisten - he seemed a bit on the emotional side at times.

  4. I was wondering who the 'He'was and then Kato mentions Father figure and I'm more curious.I hate my ignorance But I really like the poem! and Love the muttering clouds.Bravo, mon brave!

  5. This is a bit of a stunner, Peter. Particularly loved the 'ascent so treacherous' and the 'muttering clouds'. Good one.

  6. This is a wonderfully subtle poem, Peter. Very restrained and strong because of it.

  7. Peter, you question on my Bus poem today: What is a closet? Do you not have closets over there? Conversely, I don't know what a hot press is. A closet is a built-in wardrobe. The bedrooms all have one. In modern houses, the closet is usually an alcove with a pole installed to hold clothes on hangers, closed off with sliding doors. Older homes have a small walk-in room closed off with a door. Your poem, again, is wonderful.

  8. I thought 'he' was the eagle, but then he wouldn't car about plummeting down the mountain would he? Whoever he is, I think it is a very powerful poem Peter.

  9. That 'beautiful thoughts' is really unsettling...in this context anyway...and that of course makes for quite an interesting poem. If creepy.

  10. TFE and Weaver, my apologies, it was the height of arrogance not to explain the reference. The Kehlsteinhaus near Berchtesgaden was where Hitler had his summer retreat, close to the border with Austria.

  11. unsettling is the word. Great shifting words

  12. Muttering clouds! Perfection. Excellent verse and yes - if I were standing there I would certainly muse about what he must have seen from his perch!

  13. Lovely, haunting poem, Peter. My ancestors left that part of the world about 300 years ago, and yet somehow I still connect with it, maybe my DNA tingling, as the Lady of Willow Manor would say. So odd to contemplate Hitler amidst such tranquility, isn't it?

  14. And all these comments prove...you're a much better poet than you think you are! A man of range!

  15. Ah! Understanding the Hitler reference brings the whole poem into focus...

  16. Many thanks for the encouraging remarks, everyone.

  17. Peter, this is a powerful supposition and not at all 'dodgy,' albeit the subject? definitely of the dodgy nature to say the least

  18. Very emotive poem, especially moved by the line.

    'Did his eyes moisten when he turned to his homeland, almost within his grasp.'