March days can be superb, autumn crispness
in a mature sun. Late cicada hold chorus
as I walk through the gardens to the city.
Women trundling toddlers smile as I stroll
past, a man swings his little girl into giggles.
A tourist couple snap a courtly begonia bed.
A perfect day for a Renoir riverside party.
But Goya rules.
Trains detonate in Madrid.
Sudden death is often our common lot but
this unnecessary slaughter beggars thought.
This poem which I wrote several years ago is in the latest edition of Poetry New Zealand. Yesterday I wrote about juxtapositions. Life can be both benign and brutal. I recall the day the poem was written – I'd listened to the radio news with the carnage of the carriages before walking down town through the Botanic Gardens on a lovely autumn day. I think the poem captures the essence of my mood that day. Renoir is my favourite painter - full of sunshine. But too often the horrific images that Goya presents dominate.