The Falling Clouds of Provence

in my beginning is my end


I went away, long ago, to those
Kingdoms said only to exist in
The tall-tales told by
Musty old women sitting
Sipping tea and biscuits in
Rocking chairs, pulled up beside
Roaring fires.


I was young then, and though I
Feel younger now, the
Thought of certain English gardens
After a midsummer shower still
Haunt my vision, forcing me to
Stare at the flowers of parks
In the glow of their color and bloom.

Then there were the
Trains I rode in through the
Dark, rolling away towards those
Unshaven French women who stand
Hunched and holding Starbucks
Cups outside of the
Notre-Dame de Paris.


The old women rock and rock. I
Hear the sounds through memory
And the strangeness of finding rocks
On beaches that I wandered across,
Long ago.

33 thoughts on “The Falling Clouds of Provence

  1. Sherry Blue Sky August 5, 2015 / 11:00 pm

    This is so beautiful, one of my favourites of yours. I love the memories of those old women and their teacups…..the trains of Paris……I especially like your finding of rocks from the beaches of long ago. That is very cool.


  2. Snakypoet (Rosemary Nissen-Wade) August 6, 2015 / 2:14 am

    Beautifully nostalgic.


  3. Truedessa August 6, 2015 / 3:41 am

    I like finding rocks on beaches I’ve wandered across. Memories held in sipping teacups..nice imagery. I felt a touch of sadness in the journey.


  4. oldegg August 6, 2015 / 4:00 am

    Every now and then there will be a flash of memory of some particular event in the past; not dramatic but nostalgic of the feelings you had that day. This is truly beautiful.


  5. Myrna August 6, 2015 / 5:59 am

    Beautiful poem. It has the nostalgia and dreamy feeling of a good treasured memory. Lovely.


  6. Jae Rose August 6, 2015 / 12:40 pm

    What a wonderful voyage between space and time and memory – the unshaven French women made me smile…


  7. glmeisner August 6, 2015 / 1:22 pm

    I love the description of memory that is in the last stanza.


  8. Sanaa Rizvi August 6, 2015 / 2:52 pm

    This is so beautiful! Love the description you have woven so powerfully 😀


  9. Sumana Roy August 6, 2015 / 3:31 pm

    There are elements of dream in the lines…love them & also the use of the word ‘rock’….


  10. Björn Rudberg (brudberg) February 29, 2016 / 7:30 pm

    I love this Matthew… so much to love in those images, like glimpses of a place.. a place so alive, and all through a memory…


  11. kanzensakura March 1, 2016 / 8:28 pm

    I have a jar of rocks from places I have travelled, beaches, gardens, mountains….I know each one and can picture the day I picked it up. the unshaven French women makes me smile….the old ladies and their tea cups….a rich poem of memories. I love the word nostalgia from the Greek – nost/home algia/pain.


  12. Grace March 2, 2016 / 12:44 am

    I felt I was travelling with you Matthew ~ Enjoyed this one 🙂


  13. Glenn Buttkus March 2, 2016 / 1:22 am

    Amazing feat, to send us spinning into your adventures, & yet not nail down much specific color–sharing foremost your love of travel; terrific recap poem that clearly illustrates your promise & prompt.


  14. Bodhirose March 2, 2016 / 4:31 am

    Rocks and shells, I love to collect these wherever I go. I had to smile at the image of the unshaven French women rocking and sipping tea. Really a nice story you told here, Matthew.
    Gayle ~


  15. Candy March 2, 2016 / 4:51 am

    love how the past and present clashed in this


  16. sreejaharikrishnan March 2, 2016 / 5:38 am

    So beautiful and full of images, vivid…


  17. Nato March 2, 2016 / 2:08 pm

    What wonderful imagery. A grand talent to be able to paint your memories so clearly for us to imagine ourselves. Bravo:)


  18. navasolanature March 2, 2016 / 3:43 pm

    This has such a wistfulness of the long ago but so clearly detailed with the unshaven women!


  19. Bryan Ens March 2, 2016 / 4:42 pm

    Love how the tales you were told as a child come to fruition through your travels.


  20. shanyns March 2, 2016 / 7:00 pm

    This was such a treat. Love your lovingly crafted lines. They resonated deeply.


  21. georgeplace2013 March 2, 2016 / 8:25 pm

    Like the two kinds of rocks. I loved rocking my babies and I love collecting rocks from places I visit. Beautiful poem.


  22. March 2, 2016 / 8:51 pm

    Very atmospheric – though I puzzled as to why Frenchwomen would need to shave. Even our little village full of old ladies has a beautician with sophisticated expertise


  23. mishunderstood March 3, 2016 / 4:37 am

    Such a vivid account of travel memories. I did a “double-read” where you wrote ” I was young then, and though I feel younger now’…..oh how I love that line. 🙂


  24. Raivenne March 3, 2016 / 2:33 pm

    “….and though I feel younger now” Oh how I know this feeling and adore this line.

    The atmosphere created in I. took my mind’s eye to several places all at once. The contrasts of the memory of then against the now is exquisitely penned.


  25. katiemiafrederick March 9, 2016 / 9:43 pm

    Oh Rocks.. of culture pass..
    Ah.. greens of meadows new..
    Hmm.. Love oF


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