Walter Hoelbling

Lit.-Mag #36
Home & Homecoming

wondering how to resume

going home

the world
is with me
on my way
through rolling hills
green after spring rain

metallic evening light
casts into sharp relief
the contours of young leaves
and orchards blooming

a daring hare
abruptly stops
by the approaching car
and in one
vanishes in the brush

the farmer neighbours
have taken to their beds already
when I nudge my engine smoothly
past their house
and up the hill

to continue my life
where I left it
after breakfast

my mobile home

it travels without trucks
builds quickly
and undoes itself
with ease

its walls are just
my frames of thought
its bed
the conscience of a day
well lived
with few regrets

its gourmet restaurant
mostly beckons somewhere
from across the street
where people meet
keep company
and eat
and share
and talk

our home

the moment
we walked in
the walls said
the stairs adapted gently
to our step
the kitchen was about
to blow a handle
with the excitement
of being used soon

the patio opened its walls
to receive us in pure white
the down-downstairs
turned into a vaulting womb
yearning to be filled
the fireplaces rattled their flues
expectant of the heat

I guess it was
the beating of our hearts
that filled the house with warmth
made bare walls radiant with life
softened the glare of yet uncovered bulbs
made people feel
relaxed and comfortable
when we had the glorious idea
to throw a dinner party
the day after we had moved in

and when they left
to go on with their lives
we started ours
new again
making love happily
held steady by firm oak
and our love
that stretches
and covers us
in the warming folds
of a wide


speeding away southeast from Vienna
suburban shopping malls give way
to fields of corn
chased by sunflowers
between pine forests

the train pushing
with 100 miles per hour
against the heat
of a summer noon
towards the mountains
hidden in a haze

then the ascent
on Gegha’s artful mountain track
wheels screeching
through tunnels and
at the narrow turns
between occasional small houses
built of stone
a hundredandfifty years ago

the silhouette of a big bird
among the spruce,
of cragged peaks
outlined against the sun

steep mountain meadows
mowed in morning coolness,
the grass already turning into hay

my birthplace coming up
a renovated station
a short stop
moving on

I see
an uphill forest road
on whose high point
a wily stone
thrown long ago with young ferocity
had killed a squirrel

none of my tears
would make it
climb up on its tree again

with gathering speed downhill
on through the river valley
flanked by wooded hills
spiked with farms
and cluttered haystacks,

rushing by
old steeples in old towns
with some new factories

then turning southward
downhill still
more narrow in the valley
past steep rocks
ruins of castles
above sprawling freeways

until the hills recede
and cumulating houses
in a widening basin
suggest the temporary end
of travelling

I step out

wondering how
to resume

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