Springtime in Graz

Brian Farrington

Sun on drained-for-winter fountains,
February sun in Graz,
squirrels scampering through the snowdrops,
Austrians in Sunday hats,

Life is shit, say the graffiti;
one old dame in furry gloves
crumbles bread to feed a blackbird,
fending off some greedy doves;

a troop of louts upending dustbins
brawl their way along the path,
the kind old dame's toileted poodle
snouts among the aftermath;

lovers bicker, she stalks off,
he endeavours to pursue her,
stops and sulks instead; Thank Heaven,
Youth's a stuff does not endure!

Doves and blackbirds, louts and lovers,
each one after its own thing;
and I, in my complacent sixties,
warming to the start of Spring.