On the northern side of my block
There was the never-ending sea.
But my small studio
So my home
Caught the sun most of the day,
Unless wayward rain
And mazes of mist
Blew in from the steppes
And crossed the waters.
Neatly paved streets -
A realm of shiny vehicles
And well-dressed pedestrians -
Ribboned below me.
Smaller buildings were freshly painted,
Trickling wet and glossy after a storm.
To be built of glass
And not much else.
At night I could look
Through any window
And see families gathering for meals,
Children busy with computers
And video games.
Later the lights would dim.
People retired to sleep away
The fatigue of each unknowable day,
And, perhaps, to trade in love.
In the morning they rose again,
Well after the sun materialised,
And set off to exchange mysteries.
Traffic always moved
With an erratic disorder
That seemed so random
But must have involved remote control
By an all-seeing manager.
Beyond the residences
And the roads
The land began to rise,
Gently at first,
Towards the mountains.
On the lower slopes there were farms.
Men and machines kept to routines
While workers wielded a shovel;
All was dispatched in giant rigs
With wheels at least as big
As a poor man’s hovel.
And the cycles of husbandry
Changed the colours of the fields
Day by day and week by week.
Swathes of cream and yellow
Gave way to pale weeds,
Then to deep brown
As the ground was ploughed.
There were rows and rows of small trees
Dotted with technicolour bounties,
Either ready and ripe,
Or still no more than blossoms.
Above the orchards
Nature’s flora began
With stately oaks, beech and chestnut,
Giving ground to junipers,
As the forests gained altitude.
It was magnificent artwork –
Every imaginable shade of cool green,
And the occasional arc of crimson,
With scattered splatters of gold,
And shimmers of vermillion.
At the top the mountains towered,
Peaks barely lower than the sky.
And bulky black blocks in the light
Becoming dusky silhouettes
When the sun proclaims the night.