Dreams Of The Past

Drifting away into a mishmash of dreams:
meadows and orchards
abandoned farmhouses
chickens feeding on sawdust and maize by wired fencing
an August heatwave
petrol cans and parched grass
an old wooden barn in the centre of a field.

Then he is fifteen again
standing on top of the mound by the railway line during another heatwave
watching as one of the local boys stumbles, falling to the bottom of the slope
into the path of a speeding train. 

© Lawrence Estrey 2021    fiction poetry

The Lighthouse

The lighthouse stands alone on a bouldered mound.

Waves smash against rocks as the temperature plummets and the sea turns deadly, matching the blackness of the sky.

Lightning. Thunder. A crescendo of waves. A deafening roar as the waves rush forward to pound the rocks in the icy cold.

© Lawrence Estrey 2021     poetry

A Picture Of Pathos

At around this time I learnt Beethoven’s piano sonata, The Pathetique.

The dramatic opening reminded me of the opening in my novel Secrets.
The protagonist making his way up Whaley Hill in Lancashire in the November chill and fog in search of the man he’d helped put behind bars sixteen years earlier.
The angry, almost violent, chords that answer the pathos of the melody in the Pathetique. The build up of rain, the promise of a storm on Whaley Hill.
The continuing intensity of emotion in the Pathetique as lyrical despair alternates with irate harmonies and powerful pauses. 

A mist has settled. Going back for a torch, I take the pathway up the hill, like we did that other day, although it was hot and sunny then. Acrid, almost
I pass the row of trees where we hid that other time.
The tyre swing has gone now. 
The gust gets stronger, sweeping through the trees and shaking the bushes ahead.
 When I reach the bench near the reservoir, I shine the torch around.
A carpet of soaked leaves. Dead twigs.
Beyond lies the water, eerily still under the glow of the torch.   

© Lawrence Estrey 2021   fiction poetry

Modern Day Woes

winter, spring, summer, autumn
one day slips into the next
the future uncertain
dreams troubled
an era of technology

time passes almost unnoticed
agitation, unrest, disaster
the world is full of fear
promises broken
a planet out of control
the pandemic halted –
but for how long?

© Lawrence Estrey 2021     poetry

Gazing Afar

He sits on a bench close to a line of cottages
halfway up the winding hill
staring out to sea
waves churning as the sun sets
splashing against rocks
soaking the sand
a lull that reminds him of nursery rhymes
and happier times

tomorrow’s a new day, he thinks
and wipes away a tear

© Lawrence Estrey 2021     poetry

A Peaceful Night

The moon, near but distant, full and brooding.

The mysterious glow of light that rests upon the surface of a lake,

Casting shadows on the water.


Tones of colour.

The whisper of a breeze, the rustle of hedges.

The moon hides behind a cloud.

All is still.

The observer walks away.

© Lawrence Estrey 2021     poetry

He Lost It All

The hiker crosses a field
treading along the grass
grass as parched as hay
sunlight pouring down his face
stinging his eyes

Could life have been perfect just six weeks ago?
hope blossoming along with the spring?
evenings full of promise as they’d sat at the picnic table in their garden
eating Mediterranean salad and drinking wine?

The hiker reaches the foot of a stile
and nearly stumbles
the afternoon sun scorching and unforgiving
accusing him
– along with his silent self 

© Lawrence Estrey 2021     poetry

A Perfect Day In Dorset

a single decker bus back to the bay,
along the coastal route,
past tea places and an empty fair marquee,
country lanes flanked by ancient gnarled tree trunks,
sun-parched fields, lone cottages standing back from a road,

signposts for a farm appear,
cows in a field, gaze ahead with fixed expressions.
a tall fence,
an orchard,

approaching the coast,
a line of cliffs stretching east,
giftshops selling postcard racks,
Buckets and Spades,
holidaymakers ambling towards the seawall by the promenade,

children eating ice cream,
boat huts on the shore,

the sea slips into the horizon,
out of sight,
the sun sets,

© Lawrence Estrey 2021      


Thirst, An English Desert

Parched grass.

A walk across fields and mounds where branches and weeds lie unconcealed, waiting to take thirsty hikers by surprise.

The midday heat bears down on the hiker, raw and unrelenting.

Fields surround the trail, each like the last, so that north and south and east and west merge, teasing the hiker with countless possibilities.

Dry rocks and sand-like dust. The grass has burnt away.

The temperature soars, but the journey goes on without an end in sight.

The hiker doesn’t know which way to go.

He takes another sip of water from his pouch and studies the map.

Everywhere is identical and bleak, a desert in the middle of English countryside.

© Lawrence Estrey 2021