Shed tears of joy in relishing what the world has come to see,

Yet brought here by your own,

Expressing affection and gratitude undeserved

In exultation unrefined.


Drip clotting whey - milk congealed in a cow's stomach,

Compressed as food for a winter's night;

Raclette-melted onto potato wedges and crusts of bread

For caseination recombined.


Leave drops of blood in warring trenches, deeply dividing

A continent made as one for cantonal harmony,

Resisting the invader's lancer prodding the coat of mail

In altercation unconfined.


Find clouded rain, today's forecast suspended in azure fog

Hovering over Léman as the hill-train ascends

Puffing out white steam between frosted trees

And precipitation right behind.


Remake the snowflakes, falling on ancestors in condensed ice

Tunnelling eternally through the valleys

Ridged into blue glass that seals their fate in relentless flow

Of glaciation realigned.


Play with reshaped words, splitting their meaning in two,

Punning with counterpoint and a rhyming melodic line

As a theme emerges, silent under crushing snow

With imagination redefined.


31 December 2006


Written after a visit to Geneva where we'd been lavishly hosted by André and Patrick, visiting Chamonix and Montenvers (with the Mer de Glace), and then Gruyeres (in Franco-German canton of Friborg) with its cheese factory and the Chateau. Both journeys included a train.