First Eyes What the child in us wishes all winter for comes late. We wake to a whitewash: caked roads and drives, meringued gardens; surprise even to robins’ eyes. First-to-work finch notes and what might be heartbeats of nearby oaks as our window eyes count time; watch innocence lost to commuter shoe and tyre grooves. A quorum of hard-faced corvids hector from nearby roofs as afternoon fingers steal back light, clocked by bluebells, snowdrops and dwarf narcissi – first eyes of spring. Lisbon Spring That first taste of sea-brined Atlantic, air that once carried fado cries from Alfama. Saudade – hearts that waited, ached for Tagus tide to roll home below a millefeuille of sea-facing structures. I find Café Martinho da Arcada, hear Pessoa’s words on walls still painted in nicotine and espresso. Outside, a number 28 tram grates and whines to a halt. A wagtail bobs by full of knowing. Steep streets of Bairro Alto bathe in magnolia blossom, eyes open to pink light of spring.
Paul Waring is a retired clinical psychologist from Wirral, UK who once designed menswear and sang in Liverpool bands. His poems have been widely published in print journals, anthologies and webzines. He was runner-up in the 2019 Yaffle Prize and commended in the 2019 Welshpool Poetry Competition. His debut pamphlet ‘Quotidian’ is published by Yaffle Press.