Monday, 14 November 2011


Poem 11 of 230:  OTHER SIDE

On the road from Inverness to Glasgow
    (A very scenic road it is),
I hitched with a pair - Italiano;
    The left-hand-drive Fiat was his.

I think they had taken turns at driving -
    I’m not sure from where or how far;
But, when they picked me up from my hiking,
    The lady was driving the car.

I recall how warm their greet did feel,
    And what a thrilling trip it was;
For, as their hands fought over the wheel,
    Our lives came near to loss:

I was sitting tight on the back-right side -
    My ears off their argument;
But my eyes surely knew how close beside
    The oncoming vehicles went!

We arrived without a scratch at Glasgow,
    But it begs this point, I feel -
Why did our forebears decide to go
    Either side for the new wheel?

(C) David Franks 2003

Sunday, 13 November 2011


Poem 12 of 230:  GOLF AT KILLARNEY

At Killarney Golf and Fishing Club,
    There’s two great courses to be found;
Built on Ireland’s fine Ring of Kerry,
    Both are really worth a round.

From the local social Youth Hostel,
    I hitched - doing as Irish do;
Then paid to play both the courses,
    But missed five holes - Hostel curfew.

The fairways were lush and nicely groomed,
    And the course views the best I’ve seen;
With walks beside the lakes and mountains,
    I’m proud to say to there I’ve been.

(C) David Franks 2003

From golf scorecard 1988

Youth Hostel Association stamp from 1988

Saturday, 12 November 2011


Poem 13 of 230:  UNDERDONE

At the age of twenty-one,
Art and culture were just done.

At the age of twenty-one,
Adventure and sport were fun.

At the age of twenty-one,
For Paris, I was underdone.

(C) David Franks 2003

Friday, 11 November 2011


Poem 14 of 230:  NIGHT OR DAY?!

In the far north of Sweden
    (A "Land of the Midnight Sun”),
A strange thing chanced upon me -
    And I’ll tell you, just for fun.

Got off a train late-morning
    (Had to catch same one next day)
And trudged far to the Youth Hostel -
    Paying for a one-night stay.

I spent the afternoon sightseeing,
    Then, after a latish dinner,
Returned to my own small bedroom -
    The comfy bed proving a winner.

For I soon dozed into dreamy sleep -
    Waking what was just two hours hence;
But my watch was an analogue,
    And night or day I couldn’t sense!

I quickly packed all my things
    (My train an hour or thirteen on)
And hurried out the bedroom -
    The bright sky a sneaky con.

I wandered down the track a bit
    (The Hostel office empty),
Before a smiling helpful local
    Did kindly enlighten me.

(C) David Franks 2003

Thursday, 10 November 2011


Poem 15 of 230:  TOREO

I’m a fan of the Spanish way -
    I like their houses and their food;
But there is one thing I must say -
    Their bullfights do upset my mood.

The matadors may be brave folk,
    And the tradition an old one;
But what must also be spoke
    Is - the bulls’ pain before they’re done.

(C) David Franks 2003

Ex-bullring in Barcelona, Spain; 26/5/2018

Vegetable paella & a glass of sangria

Patatas bravas (fried potatoes) at a tapas bar

Pension balcony, Barcelona; 27/5/18

Juliet & Maltese balconies in Barcelona; 25/5/18

Gaudi balcony, Park Güell; 28/5/18

Beautiful house near Park Güell; 28/5/18

La Casa Trias, Park Guell, Barcelona; 28/5/18

Trompe-l'œil, Barcelona; 28/5/18

Bananas on Barcelona balconies; 27/5/18 

The above pics are closely linked to the verse; below is a more-random selection of my Barcelona favourites.
Barcelona Port, Columbus Monument,
Waves Sculpture, & Montjuic; 24/5/18

Luxury yachts at Barcelona Port; 24/5/18
Barceloneta Beach by night; 24/5/2018

Sagrada Familia - NEARLY finished; 26/5/18

Sagrada with stormtroopers! 26/5/18

Barcelona Cathedral; 26/5/2018

Barcelona Cathedral; 26/5/18

Shop in Gothic Quarter, Barcelona; 16/5/18

La Rambla, Barcelona; 26/5/18

Placa Reial, off La Rambla, Barcelona; 2/6/18

Barcelona beaches; 27/5/2018

Barceloneta Beach; 27/5/2018

Fan palms & Roman wall; 27/5.18

View from Park Guell, Barcelona; 28/5/18

Park Guell, Barcelona; 28/5/18

Sagrada Familia & Mediterranean,
from Park Guell, Barcelona; 28/5/18

Park Guell, Barcelona; 28/5/18

Tibidabo from Park Guell, Barcelona; 28/5/18

Montjuic Funicular; 28/5/2018

Montjuic Cable Car, Barcelona; 28/5/2018

Montjuic Castle, Barcelona; 28/5/2018

Barcelona Port from Montjuic; 28/5/2018

View of Barcelona from Montjuic; 28/5/18

Next time, maybe - there is another gondola
from Montjuic down to Barceloneta; 28/5/18

Wednesday, 9 November 2011


Poem 16 of 230:  A BEAUTIFUL STAGE

If a couple, with plans to wed,
    Asked me, off the top of my head,
On somewhere I thought well in-tune
    As a place for a honeymoon,
It would have - flashing back - to be
    Beautifully-honed Italy.

(C) David Franks 2003

Tuesday, 8 November 2011


Poem 17 of 230:  THROUGH WHAT WAS

During Europe’s summer, ‘88,
    At a wall my bag was checked:
A brief smile at what gave it weight...
    Sun-cream lid back - mood not wrecked.
I walked past plain buildings and cars,
    And entered a small food-store.
Its goods were plain, also: no sweet bars;
    The essentials - not much more.
As I bought crispbread with money changed,
    A row began, at counter,
Between two, it seemed, Germans estranged -
    Clothes, to me, the sole pointer.
I headed back through the wall that was,
    Then signed a reunion book.
Reflecting, I’m happy/sad because
    The Left-cause, too, has been shook.

(C) David Franks 2003

Monday, 7 November 2011



Neither by stealth,                     I was shocked, too,
    With the loud wealth    By  a  squat  loo.

(C) David Franks 2003

Squat toilet at Dubai Airport;
February 2014

Posh loo with a view, in The Cloud,
Beetham Tower, Manchester; 4/4/17

Sunday, 6 November 2011


Poem 19 of 230:  JET

With time-based rail passes,
    As many youths still do,
I caught the trains through Europe -
    A good time it was, too.

But, late one night that summer,
    I ran full-on in vain,
Through quiet streets in Paris,
    To catch the London train.

And, at that Paris station,
    They closed the doors throughout,
For cleaning through the morning,
    Insisting - stragglers out.

So it was that a few of us
    Spent the night on the street,
And, I do declare to you,
    It left young me dead beat.

Yet there are many stragglers,
    Within the human domain,
Spending all their nights as such -
    While others own a plane!

(C) David Franks 2003

Saturday, 5 November 2011


Poem 20 of 230:  CHINA AND INDIA IN 1988

China and India:
    Dense populations both;
But China is, by far,
    Much more humane - my oath;
For through both I took trains,
    And saw the gap in pains.

China and India:
    Great cuisines they have both;
But China is, by far,
    Much more humane - my oath;
For not once in packed China
    Was I begged by a minor.

China and India:
    Lasting cultures in both;
But china is, by far,
    Much more humane - my oath;
For India does need
    Left-policies - indeed!

(China and India:
    Many creatures in both;
But, in this case, China
    Is less kindly - my oath;
For, on pain, they fret less
    In keeping their food fresh.)

(C) David Franks 2003