Whistlestop Cafe, Teignmouth Station

Whistlestop Cafe, Teignmouth Station

My last post was the 50th.  When I started this I never believed that I would have reached fifty verses in some way associated with Teignmouth and its surrounds.  And still they come.  Today it’s time for a break from the past and back to the present day ….. for a while.

Teignmouth has a bounteous collection of cafés to cater for all tastes, along the seafront, in the town, indoors and al fresco.  The setting of this poem always reminds me of Fried Green Tomatoes.  It is the Whistlestop café of course and, in keeping with the name, can be found at the railway station.  These days it is also a congregation point for bikers.

Thanks to Don Pearson for this.


(Don Pearson, 30th May 2008)
(For Melissa and all at the Whistle Stop, Teignmouth)

“Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair.”

 He was sitting at the Whistle Stop café.
The whistle blew, the train curved to a halt.
He raised his coffee
and sipped.

A kingfisher burns a blue flash
across my mind.
The after-image glides into life,
water boatmen skull effortlessly,
dragonflies are on patrol,
a heron waits for the silvering fish.

The water laughs gently.
Beneath, pebbles gaily dance
For joy of sunshine.
I swirl figures of eight
In the water,
cup my hands
below the surface,
raise them, as if in offering,
and sip.

Jewelled droplets sparkle
back into the pond.

Here, only, and now, only,
is my world,
a canvas on which
to paint my existence,
to make my mark,
my bequest.
This is the eye
of my storm.

I reach out, precisely
but, through the water,
not quite where I expect to be.
I find my answer,
but, through the water,
not precisely where it might have been.
I tickle it from repose,
nestling it in my hand.

I endow it with energy

time holds my breath

the stone hangs in space

skims across the calm,
leaves its footprints,
sinks from sight.

From each skip,
with fearless symmetry,
ripples spread, converge,
reflecting and diffracting,
to form sunlit patterns
of chaotic splendour
amongst the water lilies.
A grebe shrills in joy.

He was sitting at the Whistle Stop café.
The whistle blew, the train pulled away.
He raised his coffee,
as if in thanks,
and sipped.

Want to know more?  Check out:

Whistlestop cafe Facebook site


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