I worked, for a number of years, at one of those joint RAF/US Air Force bases hidden away in the depths of the Cambridgeshire countryside.  As soon as you set foot inside one of these places, it’s as if you’re suddenly transported to the United States.  Burger King, Donut Land, Chicago Pizza, baseball stadium . . .  All around you are US Air Force men and women, walking, marching, jogging, and – if it’s a nice day – you can bet there’ll be a barbecue or two taking place.

Over the years, I began to get bored, and slightly irritated, by the constant stream of impromptu barbecues that were organised for any and every occasion, and at the slightest hint of warm weather.  So I speak, now, as one who is virtually immune to any of the attractions a barbecue can offer.  Nevertheless, there is something magical that happens, at the start of the Summer, when one starts sniffing the unmistakeable aromas of barbecues wafting around suburban streets.  Having trudged, grim-faced, under leaden skies for long enough, people suddenly seem to unwind, relax, and start loping lazily around – almost as if their limbs have been lubricated by the oozing juices of a grilled ribeye steak.  It was this kind of atmosphere I was trying to capture in my “Barbecue” poem.


Air suffuses with burgers,
and onions.
Oil oozes and dribbles
from lips.
Sky hazes
with golden refulgence.
Limbs ease; languid motion
of hips.

Skin glows
with pink acquiescence.
Bee hovers
over flower, then
Into the shimmering silence,
a distant lawnmower


1 Comment

Filed under Poetry

One response to “Barbecue

  1. Great image, thought of it a lot as we barbecued our way throught the Jubilee! Particularly loved the ‘refulgence’.

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