A bit random to put this here but it was written in reaction to my first visit to Provence a few years ago……….
For all the starlit names; St Tropez, Cannes,
Monte Carlo – this land is full of ghosts
Amongst whom Hercule Poirot seemed the most real.
Our train was blue, certainly; compartments
Though were suited to unshaven students,
Brown, dusty, crowded, untouched by service;
Nice station was hemmed in, penned by roadworks,
Interior design marked by fatigue.
The life of glamour has moved to airports,
Private rooms and choreographed ‘public’
Moments corralled by journalists’ lenses.
Towards the hills, the glittering past finds
A surer life in the colours Cezanne
Recorded, scrupulously it seems, bark
Dabbed by red grey and brown in dappled shade.