3 poems from the seventies

06/12/2012 by Christopher Buxton

Moving house you turn up stuff from the past.  You meet your former self.  Here are three poems I wrote in the seventies.  They reflect my love of Bulgaria and one particular Bulgarian woman:



You kings of old Bulgaria

cloaked in the knowledge

of treachery

danger in the swirling snows –

the suffocating sun and dust

of armies on the plain

on the march – a throw of the dice;

a kingdom

a knife in the dark;

your foreign queens and jealous lords –

close your eyes in the peace

of sky and sea:

do you see

from the idle fishing boats

bobbing, raise your eyes

as if in vision on a shimmering day


Burgas now raise its white towers

from the salt marsh.


Burgas never so beautiful

as after a shower:

the tarmac and the concrete

glisten with a metal sheen,

reflecting dissolving

the harshness of the blocks to

a mirage of white towers

clean against the blue sky

the gurgling gutter

three yellow leaves

the whisper of an endless

red bus.


Water flows across the way

some day

between Nessebur and Sozopol

you kings of old Bulgaria

in a mosquito second

pause gaze

on the silent heights

of faceless windows in the sky

fortresses of daylight throng

the shore where

your armies disappear.



Rain dashes on my window, wind blows round my door

I got no minute to myself to break this aching store.


I lay with my baby all on my lovin’ bed

but the sleeping sickness got me turning my limbs to lead


When the rain falls on Burgas, seems like there ain’t no time

chased by the winds and loving becomes a crime.


Don’t you know it’s mean to travel on a number four bus

Your baby’s upset and she’s going home to face a fuss.


Wind’s blowing in Burgas, blowing the sun away

But when the sun comes back I’m gonna lie with my baby all day.



(after getting marriage documents)

Sofia’s a lady I sing this song for you

To some you’re just Shopski but to you I’ll be true.

Though your gallery is painted in a shade of shocking pink

And your cafes don’t sell coffee and I can’t afford your drink

In the trolleys and the buses you stamp upon my toes

and round your Russian monuments a cold wind blows

But now the sun is shining I’ll shout with all my breath

Sofia, Sofia I’ll love you unto death.


Sofia’s a lady I sing this song for you

though people just sneer Shopski to you I’ll be true

Be true to that office girl who nodded and who smiled

as long awaited documents into my hands she piled

Be true to those old men who just gave a smiling glance

as I burst into the sunlight, kissed the papers, did a dance,

be true to those young girls who handed me a flower

Sofia I love you more and more by the hour


Sofia’s a lady I sing this song for you

And though the lady’s Shopska to you I’ll be true

In this city in the sunlight my happiness is sealed

With hard to find taxation stamps the wounds of love are healed

Though the waitress brought me moussaka when I distinctly ordered soup

Even by the mausoleum I can’t restrain a whoop

From your majestic theatre to your snowy virgin peak

I’m in love with you city.  I’m a shopski freak.