A Tale of Two Cities

A Tribute to Mannheim, Germany

A modern city by the river –
The brochure purred enticingly
Omitting to mention
That it was flattened in the war
Then rebuilt as a lego-block town
Cut off from the river
By a ten track railway

Blessed with blue skies and sunshine –
My photos will nod in silent assent
Without ever showing
That my feet were aching
From walking in worn out shoes
Through a maze of dead-ends
To reach the elusive river

Against the backdrop of an elegant bridge –
My pictures will show a windswept smile
But stay mute, deaf and blind
To the jackhammer rattle
Clattering on the icy breeze
From across the busy channel

With a perfect promenade for lovers –
I will recall the cosy, strolling couples
But conveniently forget
That my mind was far away
Wondering what she was doing
And wishing she was here
Or I was there, back home

And yet there is a hidden city that lingers –
The unspoken sights
Of dancing fountains and pansy blooms
The invisible sounds
Of youthful buzz and ancient whispers
These are the unexpected discoveries
Which, once revealed
Turn shadow promises into authentic delights

Wayne Visser © 2017


Life in Transit: Favourite Travel & Tribute Poems

This creative collection, now in its 2nd edition, brings together travel and tribute poems by Wayne Visser. The anthology pays tribute to the likes of Nelson Mandela, Maya Angelou, Barack Obama, Antoni Gaudí & Leonardo da Vinci, and reflects on travels ranging from China and South Africa to Ecuador and Russia. Life is lived in the in-between / In transit / Between coming and going / Between staying and moving on / Between here and there / And what we call home / What we call settled or contented / Is merely a resting place / A station for refuelling / A nexus for reconnecting / A junction for changing direction. Buy the paper book / Buy the e-book.