Editor's note: The author went to the United Kingdom on a two-year scholarship in 1955.
Your offer from a distant land
Activates my mind of that times band
In that distant past, a young soul
Roughing Bay of Biscay, Channel, then my goal
At last Terra Firma, Tilbury Docks, your land
On an October eve I rode to Euston grand
Cora Hotel I was perched, left to fend
Alone, and so reserve, even sleep was shy to descend
A freezing room and I was not bright
To check the curtains and look around, draw them tight
Windows left open were my doom
And I resolved to return fastest soon
Chelmsford Essex on the Colchester line
Liverpool Street dispatched me fine
‘Cherry- Tree' my favorite haunt
Of Beer and wine, then a smoke full jaunt
Crompton Parkinson, my timeshare with others
Two good years went past, there were no fears
In Scottish Highlands, Devil's Elbow, lovely peaks
Castles, Cathedrals, Spires, every stone there speaks
Lake district, Wales, a paradise grand
Nature lends to mankind its gracious hand
Where is that country now?
Serenity security must return somehow.
UK Revisited in 1985
I returned to same faces, thirty years thereafter
To find great changes, people no longer softer
A strange mix, purple, brown, dark and fair
All immigrants, sometime or the other, I hear
No longer freedom to move around, freely, greet
In by lanes and crammed areas off Oxford Street
Advice is to be on the main road throughout
Fear of misdemeanor, mischievous set all about
Why this change in a country that was so calm?
Hub of the Empire, and full of charm
Motorways now new and that so fast
To carry you forward and you do last!
Pubs no longer same, no smoke now bound
Within the four walls I found
But Victorian grace still lingering around
Reminding of that distant past,
Connecting this present, such that that may last.
© Pearey Tikku 2012
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