Chiltern Sunset

by Richard Vince

Heading north west I am
Racing the Sun for the horizon.
Already reflected light flashes
In the windows of the houses
That line the railway that
Leads me towards
Unfamiliar territory.

The suburban outlines of Metroland,
However, are the passing scenery
For all those hours I spend
On the Metropolitan line
When visiting family.
But beyond the back gardens
Of the houses across the street
From my grandmother
Lie the gently sculpted contours
Of the beech clad Chilterns.

In this millionaires' commuterland
Such beauty seems incongruous;
Although marred by mansions
That reach for the hilltops,
The smoothly undulating forms
Roughened by the trees are
Most appealing to these eyes
Accustomed to different landscapes.

As the clouds sail the horizon
In front of the descending Sun,
Wooded slopes take on
An inviting air of shadowy seclusion
Such that I begin to regret
That I must go beyond this
Half fabled place
To reach my home.

Perhaps some day I will
Give these hills more than
A cursory glance from
A train window; for now
They retain the almost
Mythical air of
Somewhere I've yet to discover.


Posted on 07/07/2005
Copyright © 2022 Richard Vince

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Maureen Glaude on 07/07/05 at 09:28 PM

lovely, I feel like I've travelled on the line too. Ironically, though, with the news events of today, I thought we were heading into the chaos and tragedy of a London subway horror tale.

Posted by Michelle Angelini on 07/08/05 at 07:35 AM

Thank you for the trip through the English countryside. It's a scene and a place I would like to stay in longer, too. My heart is with all Londoners in light of yesterday's tragic events, and hope that you and your family are safe and well.

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