Archives for posts with tag: Switzerland

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Café, Switzerland
by Pauline Flynn

Viewed from the outside,
nothing momentous happened that day.
It was my nineteenth birthday
and I’d pinned a sprig of edelweiss,
soft as a fresh fall of snow,
onto my frock and set off with Heidi
to buy coffee and chocolate
over the Swiss border with Germany.

At 11 a.m. we stopped at a café
and I saw her on the terrace
reading a paperback.
Drawn to the relaxed way she sat
in the chair, her face shadowed
by the slight droop of her head,
the book resting on the edge
of the table, her order already served,
she took no notice of us.

I folded the dollop of ice cream
into cold coffee, and sank
into a sanctuary of silence.
I often think of her, unaware,
how on that day she’d bequeathed to me
a silver salver piled high with gifts.

PHOTO: Edelweiss and mountains, Switzerland. Photo by Ayko Neil Kehl on Unsplash.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I was quite a naïve young woman living away from my home in Ireland when I saw the woman in the poem. My background was conservative and life choices for women were limited.  It was mid-morning and this woman was out and about enjoying her solitude and taking time for herself. Something about her opened up something in me whereby I could visualize a different kind of future for my life than the one expected of me. I never forgot her.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Pauline Flynn is an Irish Visual Artist/Poet. Shortlisted for the Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Award in 2010, her work has appeared in literary journals, including Skylight 47, Boyne Berries, Sixteen Magazine, Into the Light, Light Journal, Orbis 81, and The Blue Nib. 

Visiting Berne
by Anthony Costello

I remember walking the caverns either/
side of the Gerechtigkeits-gasse,
drinking Rugen Brau at Juggere
and Laphroaig at 15 francs a shot,
small birds pecking at the butt ends
of Romeo y Julietta’s, scattering
the Davidoff seals — TWANG of church bells…
waking by the water to cataracts
or floaters for eyes, colours and shapes
merging as in Klee or Kandinsky,
Einstein’s face on my pillow-zine,
boatmen clanking oars riverside
and Under Dem Vulkan unfinished.

PHOTO: Albert Einstein’s home (Berne, Switzerland).


 Anthony Costello is a poet, writer, and poetry event organizer (for details, see living in Luddendenfoot, West Yorkshire, a couple of kilometres along the valley from where Ted Hughes was born in Mytholmroyd and three kilometres from Heptonstall, a little hamlet above Hebden Bridge, where Sylvia Plath is buried. Anthony is a poetry book reviewer for Sabotage and a blogger on poetry matters at His first poetry collection, The Mask, was published by Lapwing Publications, Belfast, in October 2014.