by Richard Vince

Branksome, Parkstone, Poole,
Hamworthy, Holton Heath and
Wareham. Hearing the names
Of these little known places
Announced as the train
Snakes along one of eight
Lines huddled together in
Their winding path between
The buildings of Lambeth,
Vauxhall and Battersea evokes
In me a nostalgia that
I have never understood.

The journey through suburban
Surrey, the new town of
Basingstoke, the ancient
Cathedral city of Winchester
And the great port of
Southampton leads me to
A semi fabled land that
My memories try to tell me
I know better than I do.

Photographs give few clues
To the real nature of
This mysterious county.
I remember walking along
A stony foreshore under
Leaden skies while trains
Hurried by to Waterloo
Or to distant cities
Of which my memories
Are clearer. And I
Cannot forget that first
Experience of camping, with
Its illness and other misery.

These pictures are tinted
By the eyes that saw them;
Mine before I became
The man I call myself.
Perhaps one day I will
Make that evocative journey
Again and fill in
The spaces in my memories.


Posted on 01/23/2005
Copyright © 2022 Richard Vince

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Laura Doom on 03/10/05 at 04:04 PM

At one time I used to do this return journey - same route, but it was the Waterloo-bound leg that took me to my semi-fabled land...somehow Hamworthy has never retained an air of mystery for me - familiarity and all that... :>

Posted by Rowan Luis on 12/04/07 at 03:19 AM

wow. train journeys can often feel so profound don't they. they fill me with such a poweful sense of nostaligia and something else i cant find the words for.

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