RECENT POEMS 6

 

 

 

The Reunion

 

The lightest touch,

A butterfly's brush,

Sweet as honey,

The waft of a breeze

On cheeks so hot,

Flushed with delight.

A warm embrace,

A kiss on lips

By a long lost lover.

A rush of memories

And you are here,

Gazing at me

With older eyes,

Greyness of hair,

Fuller of body,

But still the same.

My heart fluttering

like a fledgling

learning to fly,

holding back tears,

he whispers low,

‘I always loved you'.

And I retreat

Wondering why

He left me there

So long ago

Crying alone,

And I recall then,

It was not he but me

Who chose to go

For he wasn't free.

Now he is here,

Eager as ever

Saying he's free,

And I pull away

Knowing our time

Has passed, too late

To rekindle a flame,

And I tell him

In the gentlest way

I just wanted to see

Him again, once more.

Now he retreats,

And we stand together

Separate, united

In our pain for it's me

Now who is no longer free.

I watch as he leaves

As I did years ago,

He turns, waves at me,

And I blow a kiss

To my long lost lover

And beloved friend.

 

******

 

A knock on the door.

 

A knock on the door

or a sudden approach

with a deceptive smile

and cheery greeting

and you know who they are

when they casually say

‘We're talking to people

about the Bible today'.

A mixed bag of emotions

meet that invasion

ranging from indignation

to anger, to amazement

at their barefaced affrontery.

It's not courage they have,

it's deep insecurity,

the need to get others

to believe as they do

supports their belief

that what their spreading

is god given and true.

The fact that it was written

millennia ago to control

disparate tribes, creating

a god for the day,

a warrior deity and a jealous

one too, not only of them

but of others too, escapes

these spreaders of fiction

today. Their childen

are brainwashed to follow

their way, now brought

along to make us feel safe

when they knock on our door,

but still cannot see

that they're spreading myths,

their own version as well.

Off by heart, they know

every line, can quote them

to you, word perfect,

towing the line. Best

to not answer, just leave

them alone, and hope

they'll discover one day

that they're believing

a fiction, and find

their own place in this world,

partly demonic, partly divine,

but not made by gods,

but formed over time

by a Universe sublime.

 

************

 

A Sanctuary

 

A garden of the spirit,

tranquil in its beauty,

food for weary hearts,

peace for troubled minds,

a sanctuary in the world

bleeding and in flux,

burdened by the changes,

sudden, unexpected,

no time for preparation,

flung into chaos.

What was certain

now plunged into doubt.

Leaders struggling

to right wrongs.

Failing in their efforts

as economies flounder,

and the people watch

full of dismay

as their security dwindles

and their dreams decay.

The young roam confused

angry with no work

to fill their empty lives,

while adults see theirs

vanish as businesses

crumble, close down

and the bills mount up,

and the unemployed

climb, and the jobs

available tumble.

Retreat then to the garden

for a while, find a place

where troubles abate,

reassess priorities,

change rigid mind sets,

and seek to grow

amidst the turmoil

of a world in flux.

For all things evolve

from the old into new.

Find time to imbue

hearts with courage,

minds with peace

to emerge refreshed

from the garden of the spirit,

tranquil in its beauty,

where food is found

for weary hearts,

peace for troubled minds

in your own personal

sanctuary in the world.

 

************

 

A Clarion Call

 

Goodness and light,

Darkness and night,

endless conflict,

bloodshed and wars,

longing for peace

and battles to cease.

Goodness soiled

with motives despoiled.

Darkness reigns

as goodness wanes.

A polarized world,

weapons unfurled.

No compromise,

mediation's demise.

No comprehension,

increasing tension.

Bitter quarrels,

abandoned morals.

Powers fight,

exercising might.

The innocent die

as sides vie.

No winners arise

for blooded prize.

No clean hands

across the lands.

Tragedy and pain,

Humanity's bane.

Ying and yang

the bells clang

Never ending,

forever sending.

A clarion call

from rampart's wall.

‘God's on our side'

bawled with pride.

And the darkness

overwhelms goodness.

 

**********

 

Gossip

 

I whispered a secret to my friend

and she told it to another,

and the other told another,

and the message that was clear

became nowhere near

what I'd whispered in her ear.

 

That's the trouble with gossip,

the message gets distorted,

and what was reported

twists in the mind of the other

as they pass it on to another.

Then the secret is revealed,

and starts causing havoc all around.

So, what I should have concealed,

is now common knowledge

to so many, and has got back

to the person making her attack

her friend for having an affair

with her man, which isn't true,

and it's turned into a nightmare.

The distortion being wanting

and having, which are not the same,

too late now to correct the wording.

 

The lesson to be learned is clear.

If you know something about another,

keep it to yourself for if you besmear

another, it will come back to you

and bite you on the bum,

so make it a rule, gossip is taboo.

 

************

 

Lo and Behold

 

Lo and behold, lo and behold

The light has gone out and we're in the dark.

Scrabbling around for a switch in the black

that's no longer there. A new source is needed,

a match or a torch or even an old oil lamp,

any will suffice to provide us with sight.

We're afraid of the dark, so insecure.

Ghosts and ghoulies, spooks and demons

invade our minds as the world descends

into a night where what was familiar

has vanished, all is changing, rearranging

the old into new and we're high and dry.

Stumbling around unsure where to tread,

our leaders pretend to be in control,

but their rhetoric reveals their dread

that this night is too dark, too deep

for them to find a door into the light.

Their gods have fallen, their temples crumbling.

The foundation of sand is blowing away

in the night, and no defences have worked.

Stock markets flounder, fluctuating

wildly, bankers protect their own backs

after bringing the world to its knees,

turning off the light and plunging all

into the dark. A new world is coming,

sweeping aside the past in its wake,

and the once strong and proud stare

at their empires dwindling into decay

as the night consumes them merciless

in the march of time, so while the light

rises for the new, the night descends on the old,

as it has in the past, so will it again,

lo and behold, lo and behold.

 

*************

 

Existence

 

Seeking not finding

Answers

Reality's mystery

Baffles

Material solidity

Questionable

Quantum worlds

Confusing

Turning knowledge

Haywire

Virtual reality

Possible

Nothing's real

Anymore

Future predictions

Unpredictable

Living codes

Existing

Fractal patterns

Infinite

Entanglement now

Uniting

Everything existing

Together

One whole

Entity

Forever changing

Metamorphosing

Evolving creation

Energized

Life's urge

Unstoppable

Universe seeking

Recognition

Sentient life

Responding

Cosmic dance

Triumphant.

 

***********

 

The Weather Forecast

 

Rolling hills reflect

Roiling moods,

Swift flowing clouds

Emotion's streams

Lightning strikes

Sharp words

Thunder peals

Explosive anger

A cool breeze

A withdrawal

Gusting winds

Heart's turmoil

A fall of snow

A hardening heart

Iced river

Rejection

Melting ice

Reconciliation

Bright sunlight

Heart on fire

Clear blue skies

Love flies.

 

And the forecast for tomorrow…

Don't believe a word of it,

It's all lies…

 

************

 

The Spirit within

 

The spirit within

Can rise triumphant.

Life's joys can raise it

High

From quiet contentment

To ecstasy

A place of light

Where laughter

Dwells bringing

Happiness.

 

The spirit within

Can fall defeated.

Life's trials can try it

Beyond endurance

Till it sinks

Down

Toppling into an abyss

Where darkness

Dwells swamping

Hope.

 

The spirit within

Needs sustenance.

Life can kill it

Deafen its ears

Blind its eyes

Silence it

Through neglect

It withers

With sustenance

It flowers.

 

The spirit within

Is a gift

A sanctuary

A place of stillness

Within all

Where peace

Dwells

Tranquility reigns

Where Hope is found

When lost.

 

**********

 

The Truth

 

The truth, mine not yours

Derived by thought,

Pain, changes of mind

Again and again.

Discerned by sifting

Shifting facts,

Uncovering lies

Subterfuge

Manipulating reality

For gain,

Power or fame

To reach a plateau

Viewing the whole

Accepting some

Discarding most

To stand

Alone

Content on a rock

Of one's own making

No shaking

Disturbs

Built on quantas

Ever changing

Perspectives

Solid in doubt

Safe in uncertainty

Forever open.

 

*************

 

The Gentle Messenger

 

Lowly is the gentle messenger

seated by the ancient tree.

Five thousand years it has thrived,

often deprived of sustenance and water,

but it has survived, and the messenger

reads its gnarled rings like a book

recounting its history and humanity's.

Mournful at times, joyful at others,

but, overall, disappointed for the pages

read more of pain than happiness,

more of squander than of preservation,

more of war and superstitious beliefs,

and a lack of appreciation for the gift

of Life, bestowed by a Universe

seeking to be known by sentient

creatures, especially those endowed

with minds that can embrace

the vast macrocosm of existence

and the microcosm with its secrets

yet to be revealed, but waiting

to share them, and show those minds

the endless wonders of creation.

 

The gentle messenger looks around

and sighs ‘not yet, not yet,

they're not ready yet' and, with a wistful

smile, dissolves back into the tree

to rest in tranquility for another

millennia or two. Time for humanity

to mature it hopes for it is still

too young to cope with reality,

still too violent for the next stage

of its evolution, and, in the silent place,

the tree folds around the messenger

as it sleeps while humanity lurches

through Time and Space its toddler's feet

stumbling along as it tries to learn

so many new things since it was born,

and the observers in the cracks discreet

provide sustenance for the child

trying to civilize it from the wild.

Nearly there, but oh so fragile is its hold,

the wilful mixed with the wise,

makes for two steps forward three back

so many times, but hope is there,

hope never despairs that humanity

will survive for while the messenger

remains and the tree does not die,

love's labours are never lost.

 

*************

 

A Muse

 

A Muse can amuse, can frustrate,

inspire, drive to distraction,

go quiet, direct, guide or make

one perspire with the effort

to hear the drip feed of words,

the flow of the stream awakening

in your consciousness arising

from apparently nowhere

to reach out for the light of day,

placing in your way, thoughts

and ideas never dreamed of before,

from days of yore to the reality

now wrapped in rhyming verse

or prose, suggesting, implying

shapes flowing in a spate

if you keep your mind open,

heeding your Muse, a servant

indeed, for little have you done

to merit praise, the poems emerge

into the world for its perusal,

appreciation or rejection is immaterial,

once born, the Muse will retire

to wait for you to be there once more

when the urge to write descends,

and you put pen to paper, fingers

to keyboard, voice to tape, whatever

your chosen transcription of your Muse's

inspiration, so long as it's freed

from the prison of silence it has been

caught in somewhere beyond

comprehension, yearning for airing,

and you, with your willingness

to hear, gave your Muse liberty

for which you've been repaid tenfold

by hearing words, exciting and new,

stirring and fiery, passionate and bold,

stories in verse never before told,

an honour bestowed upon some,

open to all, but accepted by the few.

 

***************

 

A New Page

 

Drifting on a breeze I sigh,

how quickly the years

pass by.

Turning now a new page

euphemistically called

the third age.

While parts of me fail,

I hold on with hope

to life's rail.

My memory is shot,

my eyesight's fading

and my hearing's not hot.

What is so annoying

is we've time now

for playing.

But my energy is waning,

everything is slowing

and my head is resisting.

I need a new way of seeing

the meaning on this age

but, so far, I'm failing.

I gave up smoking,

don't drink, or eat too much,

making life really quite boring.

I exercise my body,

walking, stretching and pushing

as good as anybody.

So what I need to know

is slowing down a good thing,

because, to me, the answer's ‘no'.

A sort of drift towards dying

when my head is still flying,

but my body's decaying.

I need to sit still somewhere

while my mind is rebelling

and work out what's fair.

I know, in time, I'll give in

and accept the inevitable,

knowing I can't win.

Life's roller coaster is set,

you can't beat the odds,

so best enjoy all you can get.

The new page has already turned

and the third age has begun.

Wake up, there's much to be learned.

 

**********

 

Sharks

 

Energy companies are the latest scam,

rip off the customers, lie

till you're blue in the face,

you're just a bloody disgrace.

Your customer service personnel

are trained in the art of subterfuge,

procrastination and controlling

the situation when they drive

a customer over the edge

almost inducing a stroke

or a heart attack near as hell!

Think it's clever to back

you into a wall while lying

down the phone because safe

in an office, face to face

they wouldn't dare to speak

to a man like that or many a women

if angry enough, they'd be on the floor.

Formal Complaints are dealt with by people

trained to act tough and take

no prisoners, but it's they who have

driven the customers to the brink

with their two faced responses,

their downright lies, and their protests

of ‘you haven't read the small print'.

No, because it's online, and nobody

told us it nullified everything

you've said, you lying toad!

Now, the battle lines have been drawn.

Once again, our energy supplier believes

that if it bullies enough, we'll give in,

lie down and be trodden upon.

It's so time the people took back

the energy supplies, threw out the sharks,

the shareholders raking it in,

and laid legitimate claim to what

was once theirs until the witch of Grantham

came along and sold our utilities,

robbed us blind, and left us with nought

but the clothes on our backs, which she

would have had if they could be bought

by the rich, the corporations, the capitalists

who stood on the side lines waiting

to reap in the harvest of the sale

of the publicly owned companies

as they do now for the National Health services.

Now, we're going to have a cup of tea,

calm down, and relax while we can

before the company thinks of another

way to harass and bully two golden oldies.

 

***********

 

The Dance

 

‘I'm taking a chance on you,' she said,

smiling beguilingly as she led a young guy

to the dance floor. She pulled him

right close while he fought to get free,

his only desire was to head for the door.

It wasn't that she wasn't alluring,

she was the type that had men adoring,

it was her ex, an ox of a man, six foot six,

and almost as wide, that kept most men

running, and her latest knew the score.

Flushed scarlet, he tried not to succumb

with her breasts pressing against him,

her lips brushing his cheek, he went

weak at the knee, had a desperate urge

to pee, and the sweat wet his shirt

when he spotted her ex at the bar

watching her like a hawk, his face

all bitter and twisted, his fists clenched

round a bottle of beer, as he turned

his attention to him, his expression

venomous, and then stood up with a roar

‘I'm coming to get yer,' he bawled

and charged onto the floor, his ex's

new partner fell down in a faint,

while she stood there, hands on her hips,

her mouth curled in a sneer, ‘Oh, yer,'

she snarled. ‘Oh, yer,' he growled

and put his plate of meat round her waist,

swung her into the air, and proceeded

to dance an erotic tango with his ex,

her feet barely touching the floor, but her

face was picture of pleasure as she lured

him in to her net, reminding him

of the first time they met, and ensuring

her ex would protect her from harm

so long as she had him eating out of her palm.

The passed out partner came to,

just as her ex stepped over his legs,

and, rising, he fled out of the hall,

ignoring the call from her ex, that all

was OK, he'd not kill him today.

He was last seen running due West,

even though his home was the opposite way.

 

*************

 

There was a time

 

There was a time when I was so certain

That we could make things right.

It was a time when I was young,

Full of naïve optimism and idealism

Full of fiery rhetoric and passion,

Believing human beings had reason,

Intelligence, compassion and the courage

To take a stand over important issues,

And we would be heard by those above,

That they would heed our calls

For a better world, for talk talk

Instead of war war and the laying down

Of nukes and the beating of weapons

Into ploughshares, the sharing of resources,

The alleviation of the poor, medical

Care for all, and the cessation of fear

Induced by the constant reminder

That we are but dust and belong in hell

Unless we do as clerics say, but time

Changed my certainty into doubt

As those above paid no heed to our calls.

Reason blew away on the winds of war,

Intelligence withered on the stem,

And compassion grew weary as skeletal

Bodies came and went each year,

And natural disasters caused catastrophes

Too much to bear, and the courage

Needed to rebuild and repair was not there

When faced with the might of religion

And State against those with no power,

Only voices of protest whimpering

Against injustice, inequality and oppression,

Drowned in the gales of repression.

And I am trying with all my strength

To hold on to the hope that this time

Of flux will bring about a change

Conducive to peace, to harmony,

To co-operation but I fear those above

Still harbour dreams of overall power

Of dominion as they seek to retain

Their grasp on what was and now

Is slipping away as new powers rise.

And an empire dwindles in the face

Of overwhelming odds, and mentalities

Not understood, and the battle

For resources has begun in earnest,

The winners, those with the best weapons,

And the indifference for present and future

Generations to use them one dark and terrible day.

 

***********

 

Blissful Nothing

 

There are bright white walls

With no place to hide

Making me feel

Scared

 

There are bright white walls

That close in on me

Making me feel

Trapped

 

There are bright white walls

Casting no shadows

Making me feel

Invisible

 

There are bright white walls

All around my bed

Making me feel

Tired

 

There are bright white walls

As I swallow their pills

Making me feel

Nothing

 

Making me feel

 

Nothing

 

At last

Blissful nothing.

 

**********

 

 

 

 

Brain Death

 

I'm entertainment for the masses,

I churn out chitter chatter, tripe

and drivel in a constant flow

the screen transfixes brains,

cauterizes minds, and removes

the ability to think, meditate

or ponder on the issues of the day,

or on the greater matters

like why we're here, what is life,

are we really here, who made us,

did we spontaneously evolve,

will we get into space or die here?

Will the expanding Universe

go on forever? And, will we destroy

the earth with our avarice

for its resources, the continuous

growth of our species and our urge

to fight for Territory by utilizing Ritual

with Aggression and the Social Hierarchy

concept running through the veins

of some to create a world built on TRASH?

 

What a heritage is that, but entertainment

for the masses is a huge distraction,

an avoidance of what is really going on,

though, occasionally, education edges

in to keep the worried and concerned

at bay by being able to say that not only

is the screen showing crap by the score,

but does provide something of interest

for those still with brains that function,

and, at this junction, we'll take a break

for advertisements, after all there would be

barely any entertainment at all on TV

without these interminable, disruptive,

banal, mind numbing regular breaks.

And now folks, it's Cartoon Time,

the News, giving only what we want you

to hear and see, heaven forbid you

would hear or see the reality

behind the scenes, the conniving,

the corruption, the scheming,

the back biting and assassinations

both physical and character, and

now it's the weather forecast, so sit

back, folks, and we'll tell you whether

it's going to rain or sunshine, sleet

or snow, blow a gale or just a breeze,

and today the pollen's high so sneeze

time is here again and now it's back

to the News, have a nice day all you

suckers out there who believe what

we say, just get some seaweed,

you'll have more luck in deciding the day

going on the weather that way.

And the News today is read by….

 

************

 

Stripe of Light

 

Stirring awake with a stripe of light

edging dark curtains implying sunshine

and a hope that the rain has ceased,

the flooding eased and the wind

blown itself out. Feeling sleepy,

lazy wrapping the duvet up over head,

not ready to leave the comfortable bed.

No work today, rolls over to find

a warm back stretched out beside you,

snuggles in, which induces a sigh

from the sleeping guy as you place

an arm over his body, and he pulls

you closer, and you fall back to sleep

for an extra hour until hunger rouses

you, or the need for a drink, a cig,

or a sudden cramp. Whatever the urge,

you must leave the warmth of the bed

and face the day come what may,

and the guy turns over and opens one eye

‘Hi,' he says then opens two blinking,

‘Hi,' he says again then adds, ‘sorry,

but who are you?' And you know

he was drunk and so were you,

so you give him a smile, get up,

find your clothes, and get dressed

while he lies watching you, bemused

partly amused, neither of you feeling

abused, just a night together sleeping

and enjoying each other, so you lean over

give him a brief kiss and leave.

Time to go back to your life and reality

now that the stripe of light edging

the dark curtains is revealing

it's a new day and a new beginning.

‘See you again.' He says and you smile

‘Maybe.' You say knowing never,

and the door closes behind you

leaving something of you behind forever.

 

*********

 

Unpredictability

 

I'm going out later today,

but, there again, I might not.

The unpredictability of the future,

through the existence of chaos,

throws a spanner in predictions,

and makes our lot precarious

and uncertain as we make plans

for our lives without considering

that one infinitesimally small

event can see them turn to dust,

and even the brightest and smartest

cannot ensure that what they foresee

will turn out to be what happens,

but still they gamble on the outcome

knowing some will win but most

will lose, it's not their money

so what the hell, chaos and order

all of us verging on insanity's border,

and all of us hoping life will be kind

as the dice is thrown every second

of each day to change paths, divert

courses, brings two people together

that would never have met,

and neither would have dared bet

that they would see something

in the other that would normally

have been completely missed.

Putting it down to mere chance,

or a happy coincidence, they took

the gift, thanking a god or the Universe

for what was an unpredicted event,

and found love amidst the chaos

of life, and who knows if it was chance

or coincidence in a world where

the future is unpredictable, anything

could happen, and it will.

 

***********

 

Once, I was full of Hope

 

There was a time when I was full of hope,

but the world changed taking a different route.

Crushed the laid back optimism of Flower power,

adopted nihilism of the Punks, then drove

out socialism in favour of all out capitalism,

and greed became the norm, the admired

response to everything, money was restored

as mammon's deity, and the temples grew

in number and in power and influence,

until the high priests and their acolytes

played Russian roulette with the world's

finances, and brought it crashing down

to earth. Now, the people stare in shock

as they take stock of what has happened

to the trust they placed in these mortal gods,

betrayed, cheated, and what is worse,

being gods, they have walked away,

no retribution or punishment due, impunity

for their crimes, because the elite know

that the temples must not fall, for if they do,

so will they, and great will be their terror

should the people lose control and vent

their anger as their hard earned money

goes back into the pockets of these gods,

their acolytes and into the temples' coffers.

No explanation, no offers of compensation

for all the suffering to come as the world

braces itself for punitive cuts, not for the rich,

but for the ordinary people, and they will

object, but remain unheard, for the governments

decree it is they who must pay for the gods

to survive, and the wealthy look on aware

that everything sits on a razor's edge,

for none can know if these mortal gods

are great enough to resurrect the finances

of the world as they sit ensconced

in princely splendour earning millions

while the poor grow poorer by the day.

And I know that it was never meant to be this way.

We took a wrong turning and I was once

full of hope but now I'm not.

 

***********

 

Tokens

 

‘Tokens of my love' he said

as he tossed them at my feet.

I gazed at his offerings so oafish

in their offering, so graceless

in the giving, but caught his eye,

and saw beneath the surface

a youth vulnerable with love,

foolish in his covert adoration,

and accepted them with gentleness,

thanking him for his gifts

and saw him flush with pleasure.

Feigning indifference with a shrug,

he swaggered off to stand apart.

his friends were watching

I observed, losing face was not

on his agenda as he leaned

with accentuated casualness

against the wall, one knee bent,

his foot against it defiantly,

and, lighting a cigarette, he breathed

deep to still his trembling hand,

while I turned and walked away

waiting for the day when he and I

could be alone, and I could thank

him properly for the tokens of his love,

but, until then, I keep my distance

and wait for the boy to grow

into a man worthy of my adoration

and my love. His tokens, beads

of many colours strewn at my feet

knowing I could not pick them up,

but would know exactly what

they mean, his words chosen

with care from a poem for not

his for sure. Oafish and graceless

maybe but full of sophistication

and charm at one and the same time.

 

*************

 

The sum of the parts.

 

Take a little bit of this

and a little bit of that

and what have you got?

You've got you and me

as simple as that you see.

Nothing complicated,

we're really easy to create,

we've learned that of late.

Take a bit of carbon,

add oxygen and hydrogen,

a few minerals, and water

and there we are, almost

something out of nothing.

But, when all put together,

it's amazing what so little

has achieved and how destructive

that very little can be

when its brain is detached

from its brawn, and it turns

out to be the most savage

entity on the earth. Nature

must be tempted sometimes

to undo the formula it made

and send those few parts

back to where they came from,

safe, harmless and inert.

But what's done is done,

or so they say. Must say,

there is a distinct possibility

that, one day not so far away,

the end product might do

what Nature cannot do,

and return the sum of its parts

to the earth all by itself

if it carries on spreading,

fighting and destroying

in its currently insane way.

 

**********

 

Rebellion

 

To rebel or not to rebel, that is the question?

To be submissive or rise up and face the enemy

with courage and audacity, or to cower

in the shadows, afraid of the consequences

of such action. And what of the consequences,

fearful in the imagining, sufficient to set bodies

trembling and minds churning, thinking of family,

friends and the young, all could fall before

the weapons of the enemy. To rebel would mean

casting aside security, safety, taking responsibility

for others and their needs, and what was once seen

as just normal life would cease to be the instant

the rebellion starts, no turning back, the dye is cast,

and life will never be the same again the day

you take up arms and rebel against the enemy

made up of your own people, some may be

your own kith and kin, but on the other side

now, and you might have to learn to kill

your fellow human beings. For what? Freedom,

the end of grinding poverty, oppression by the few,

so what's new? Can we find another way

to resolve these three? It seems not as the few

hold all the power, do not see that corruption

is rife, repression crushes the spirit of the people,

backed by harsh oppression, and so, there's no option,

it's rebel, and live with the consequences

for good or ill, because nothing will ever be

the same again once that door is opened

and those with courage and audacity walk through.

 

************

 

Ying and Yang

 

There's a reason for everything,

thus spake the sage

seated in his cave cut off

from life, free from corruption,

devoid of distraction

seeing his limitation

as an asset, not a restriction.

 

There's no reason for anything,

thus spake the beggar

seated in an alley cut off

from life, chained by poverty,

devoid of property,

seeing his priority

as survival, a factual necessity.

 

I live only for the moment,

thus spake the sage

seated in his cave cut off

from life, free of responsibility,

bathed in sanctity,

seeing his poverty

as an asset, a thing of beauty.

 

I live only for the moment

thus spake the beggar

seated in his alley cut off

from life, constantly hungry,

frequently thirsty,

seeing his poverty

as a curse, making him needy.

 

***********

 

Mind Games

 

‘Oh, good that's a load off my mind,' she said.

‘Such a relief! I thought you were dead.'

‘These thoughts weigh heavily on my mind,' he said.

‘I can't sleep a wink when I go to bed.'

‘I can't make up my mind at all,' she said,

‘whether to have this or that instead.'

‘We're all of the same mind,' they said.

‘the only punishment is off with his head.'

‘I've a good mind to stop your allowance.' He said,

‘you made me so mad, I'm seeing red.'

‘Mind you, this is going to end badly,' she said,

‘if you marry somebody who is ill bred.'

‘My mind is all of a dither,' he said,

‘which of these two dogs have I fed?

‘Mind the step, don't want you falling,' he said,

‘the statue you're carrying is made of lead.'

‘You're playing mind games with me,' she said,

‘are you really proposing that we be wed?'

‘Mind your P's and Q's, you rascal you,' he said,

‘I told you to be careful where you tread.'

‘I warned it would alter your mind,' she said,

‘you're in danger of becoming a pothead.'

‘If you think I'm going to change my mind,' he said,

‘you're wrong after so much wanton bloodshed.'

‘It's a meme in the mind I do declare,' she said,

‘it starts off small and ends up widespread.'

‘It's mind over matter, I don't mind,' he said,

‘and you don't matter,' he said and fired the warhead.

 

**************

 

Yearning

 

Whispers in dark places

Stir ghosts

Yearning

For solace

 

Cries beyond sound

Wake spirits

Yearning

For communion.

 

Pleas from the living

Stir the dead

Yearning

For peace.

 

Anger in dark hearts

Stir demons

Yearning

For trouble.

 

Tranquility in minds

Stirs souls

Yearning

For union.

 

Music in the Universe

Stirs creation

Yearning

For completion.

 

***********

 

Be true to yourself.

 

Be true to yourself they say,

and I pause and wonder

which self? When I was a child

I thought like a child, spoke like a child,

but was still a self, though immature,

a fledgling self still very unsure

of what anything meant, let alone self.

Then I entered my teens, the self

was in turmoil, hormones roiling,

moods fluctuating, insecurity

rife, rebellion rising, learning

how to be independent, to be free,

breaking away from parental guidance,

or their domination, and trying to walk

on my own two feet, to discover

a self, still a projection of other's

influence, instilled with fears

and limitations, scared to step out

of the shadows of authority figures

but resentful of their power to scare,

to rein in a growing sense of self,

trying to be true to that dawning self.

Until liberated from the thoughts

of others, it could only step tentatively

out into the light, to taste freedom,

then retreat when slapped down,

but, as adulthood arrived, responsibilities

arrived, and the pursuit of my self

took a back seat as other's needs

surplanted mine, and I laid down

the search for my true self while

nurturing my children, caring

for my family, making ends meet,

dealing with traumas, tragedies,

illness, diseases, deaths and the world

in general, and, suddenly, I realized

I had to free myself from all the chains

that bound me, that closed my mind,

and, in so doing, found a new freedom,

a chance to take hold of my life,

my self, and place my feet upon

a rock of my own making, take

responsibility for my thoughts,

my words, deeds and actions.

Then my spirit could fly free

when I came into possession

of my own self, knew the unity

of all life, the interaction between

all Life and the Universe,

and I was whole for the first time in my life.

 

************

 

I'll walk with you.

 

There was a time when skies were blue

and the earth was new when I walked with you

and all seemed right, but there came the night

when all that was light slid into the dark

and what was beautiful became stark.

A cold chill hand stamped its mark

when you abandoned me, and walked away

into a world devoid of lamps to light your way,

and where the darkness could not be held at bay.

There was nought for me to do but weep

and though I tried, I could not sleep,

for I had promised your life to keep,

but, now, you had gone so far from me

I could not see where ere you be,

and nothing could I do but weep sadly.

 

And I have wandered across the ages

seeking the advice of the wisest sages.

Flinching before so many hostile gazes,

I sought to find you amongst the horde

now peopling the earth in expanse so broad

it left me lost, bereft and overawed.

I swore that we would meet once more

as I walked through lands on many a shore

in times of peace and in times of war,

but never a sight of you did I espy

until I thought my heart would die

broken as it was when you bid me goodbye.

And now I wander wrapped in a shroud

bewailing my grief soft and aloud

but none can hear me for I'm lost in the crowd.

 

Holding on to the hope that you're alive,

and knowing my love will always thrive,

I'll continue through time and space to strive

to draw you back into my heart

for we were never meant to be apart,

you were my beloved, my own sweetheart.

If you should hear one day a cry so pure,

one that will be more than you can endure

because it will make you so wholly sure

that never once did I fail to keep loving you,

that no penitence or remorse is due,

for you were free always to pursue

your dreams and hopes away from me,

but you will recognize, at last, how empty

is life without my love and, with ecstasy,

we'll be reunited, and beneath skies of blue,

as if the earth was new, I'll walk with you

and you'll know my heart was always true.

 

*****************

 

Hold on to the Rail

 

When something happens to shake up your world,

it can sap your confidence, undermine your self esteem

and leave you wondering whether life's worth living.

A change, unexpected, that shocks you to the core,

and makes you reassess all that went before.

What you took for granted is suddenly no more

and the grim prospect for the future leaves you

floundering in the dark uncertain what to do.

Once you walked content that all was well,

Life was being kind to you and it was good

to be alive, then the rug was pulled

from beneath your feet and you fell with a crash

down to the floor, no longer able to see the light

and plunged into the dark arms outstretched

to feel the walls, touch the rail that guided

you, now without a lamp you stumble along

fearful and blue which is so unlike you

but now your mood is one of gloom as pain

strikes and it appears it will not go away again.

Your mind seeks to understand the changes,

to determine what's best to move ahead,

but it's really hard now to even get out of bed.

Then, just as suddenly, the light returns,

things are really not as bad as it first seemed.

The pain subsides, strength is restored,

and the future is there again now regarded

with hope not despair, but it's left you aware

how temporary should your confidence be

for it can vanish overnight when, unhappily,

changes can occur, unexpected in their depth,

and take the ground from beneath your feet

removing all that you thought you were.

The only solution is to never give in to despair,

for the light is often only hiding behind a door

and, in time, will set your feet again on the floor

where you can be contented once more

with your lot, and look forward to the future

while keeping hold of the rail along the wall

set firm and there, if you can feel it, for one and all.

 

************

 

One Body made up of the Many.

 

One body made up of the many,

formed from the stuff of the stars.

Humanity stands at a crossroads

for the body has multiplied

to spread across the planet.

Oblivious to its resources,

it has plundered without care,

until the air we breathe

is threatened, the forest trees

are cut down, the lungs

of the earth cleared for money.

We consume without awareness

that creatures can die out

if we don't rein in our greed.

We ravage the earth for oil,

to feed our desire for cars,

industries, homes, businesses,

billions of lights for the night,

for a million other uses, and

destroy pristine areas of beauty

without care or concern

for our earth, or our descendants,

in our desire to have now,

what once would be acquired

over years, now, must be today.

And we kill with impunity

our brothers and sisters in lands

far away, or near, if threatened,

because lives are so plentiful,

many are expendable, and we

don't seem to care that each

one is part of our family, the one

body made up of the many.

We live now amidst technology

geared to unite one and all,

but it seems to have separated

us all into units using them

on our own, in our own small

worlds, but talking, talking,

talking in short bursts of nothing

interspersed with cries for help

in a body made up on the many.

The plea for wisdom to grow

is there, but who is listening

in a world where distraction

rules the day, entertainment

is the way to shut out the pain

of loneliness, of isolation

in a body made up of the many.

We'd better hope that Wisdom

will have its day because, right now,

we're heading for disaster

if we don't find a new way of being

one body made up of the many.

 

***********

 

Promises made

 

The look that says you're mine,

the smile that wipes away the years,

the laugh that lights up a room

the love that seeps from every pore,

and you are mine for better or for worse,

in sickness and in health, to love,

honour and revere, and every anniversary

proclaims the truth in these promises

made so long ago our memories have

grown dim, but still recall the day

when we met and the course of our lives

changed in an instant, a path laid out

involuntarily accepted as having no choice

but to follow for a bonding was there,

not planned, a surprise for all,

disapproved of by most, wondered

at by some, and supported by a few,

but that path withstood the test of time,

withstood the battles life presented,

overcame the wounds, the traumas,

the tragedies, the rejections, and found

joys and laughter, happiness together,

and the Universe laughed with us

for it saw the best laid plans of both

before we met were not the best for us

so manipulated time and space to place

us at a crossroads where we came

face to face and saw something in the other,

a value beyond words, kindred spirits

in bodies not the best of models but

not the worst, and, in that moment,

a silent agreement was reached, we belong

together come what may, and that is how

it is from then through winding paths to this day.

 

***********

 

We'll have an inquiry.

 

‘Let's get to the root of the problem,' they say,

‘we'll have another inquiry, that will silence

the protesters that nothing is being done.

Never mind that it'll cost millions, feather

the nests of the members of the committee,

it's the taxpayers who will pay the bill,

and it will only take a year to complete,

by then the world will have changed,

the people will have forgotten about it,

there'll be new problems then and nothing

will be done to remedy the situation.

In the meantime, everything will be on hold,

we can't do anything until the inquiry

is over, so stop your complaints and moans,

this is the answer as well you know it,

start an inquiry that will last for months,

produce a report that will suggest changes

but, by then, we won't have the money

or the will to make them, so stop bothering

us, we are the government, and we know

best. We had it all worked out when we won

the election, we know the way forward,

our vision is clear the Big Society is here.

Stand up and be counted, get your broom,

sweep the country clean, remove the louts,

the idle, the cheats, the gangs, but don't touch

the bankers, the investors, the corporations,

the financiers, the rip off merchants,

our friends. We don't have a back up plan

so if this doesn't work, we won't really

worry for most of us are rich enough

to not give a toss if the country goes down

the drain, and, besides, we think it's insane

to expect us to clear up the mess the other

party left, nothing was our fault, it was

them all along, so we'll have another inquiry

to discern what to do if the recession

continues to deepen, and we'll put our pals

on the committee so then when it all

goes wrong, we'll be all right when the people

vote us out. Money doesn't shout,

its screams, and we can pretend we care,

but we really don't, and that's the truth,

we don't really know what life's all about.'

 

*************

 

Resurrection

 

And everyone thought them dead

but no, beneath the flood they survived

to rise again when it subsided,

to stand proud again, heads held high,

an exultant burst of colours

from beneath the lead grey waters.

They lay submerged waiting

expectantly for rescue, for the light

to return, for the heat of the sun

to dry petals, leaves, and stems,

for resurrection from a watery grave,

for their restoration to the land

of the living, and the perpetuation

of their brief and beautiful existence.

 

**********

 

Floods

 

Smooth runs lives seemingly

undisturbed, safe, secure

and tranquil, when, suddenly,

cataclysmic disruption

occurs in one half hour,

leaving areas under water,

roads raised up high,

shops flooded, windows

smashed by flying stones.

Rivers, gently flowing

yesterday, turn into torrents,

overflowing banks to drown

gardens, flowers, shrubs.

Cars and buses submerged,

floating away or tossed

in the air like paper cups.

And the people gaze in awe

that an area renowned

as sedate is turned upside

down in half an hour

when a month's rainfall

poured from leaden skies

and caused destruction

in its wake unseen for years.

Now sewage flows free

over pristine promenades

covered the pier and paths

where people stand to see

the annual Air show,

still being held, too close

now to cancel but in peril

of being poorly attended,

and all the effort wasted

when Nature vents her fury

in one mighty deluge,

not forecast, unexpected,

that washed away an area

famous for its gardens

and its sedate tranquility.

 

************

 

Nobody came today

 

Nobody came today, or yesterday,

and nobody will come tomorrow.

My youth has gone, my looks faded,

my body aged, I can barely walk,

and sit alone each day, every day

and nobody comes, so I write

it down, ‘nobody came today'.

A mantra chanted in the morning,

in the noon , and into the night,

and how I long to sit with someone,

anyone, to feel a human touch,

to drink a cup of tea, eat a biscuit

and talk about the weather, life,

a husband or a wife, a child,

a lost dream, a hope of someone

else because mine have all gone,

all have gone and left me alone,

and nobody ever comes to see me

so I'll continue rising in the morning,

spending my day waiting, hoping,

and go back to my bed at night

to sleep lightly, sometimes badly,

but there's nobody to tell that to,

nobody to see inside my world,

my world which nobody comes to,

so I write in my diary every day,

‘and nobody came today, and

nobody came today, and nobody

came today, and nobody came

today, and nobody came today.'

 

************

 

Life's Journey

 

Life is a journey from A to B

and, in between, each of us see

a whole gamut of things

that every life brings.

From joys to dreams,

from pains to schemes,

from ups to downs,

from laughs to frowns,

and along the way

we try to keep at bay

what can hurt or harm

with aggression or charm.

 

Times of darkness

we recall as coldness,

times of pleasure

we recall as treasure,

times of loss

wrap us in pathos,

times of gain

drive away pain.

And all the while

we try to smile

when things get bad

or make us sad.

 

If the path is rough

we try to act tough,

if the path is level

we find life restful.

Whatever life brings

we count our blessings

while being awestruck

over our good luck.

By the wonder of being,

and the joy of seeing

love in our lives

for husbands or wives,

for children and friends.

 

When life transcends

the banal and ordinary

becoming the visionary

we realize that we live.

There's no better motive

for embracing the whole

and learning to extol

the wonder of it all

while being so very small.

 

*************

 

Simple Simon and the Pieman

 

Simple Simon set his goat at a jog

for today he was going to the fair

when he came across a fallen log.

Right over the path its trunk lay

making Simple Simon frown

for it had certainly spoiled his day.

 

While trying to shift it out the way

a Pieman came on by, said Simple Simon

to the Pieman, ‘this is causing a delay,

I need a hand so that we can continue

on our way.' The Pieman shook his head

‘I'll be late if I stop for such a rescue.'

 

Simple Simon watched him climb over

the trunk, dismayed at his bad luck

to come across a really selfish bounder

on the first day of his journey to the fair.

Now, still stuck, he tried to get his goat

to climb over but the size gave it a scare.

 

Eventually, a wagoner came and pulled it

clear and Simple Simon was on his way

once more, when he came across a bandit,

who stole his goat and his last penny.

Fed up now, he walked along until he saw

the Pieman looking decidedly unhappy.

 

‘A bandit stole my pies' the Pieman cried

Simple Simon gave him a rueful grin.

‘Serves you right for the help denied

to me. We could have been allies

and been safe in each other's company,

now I've lost my goat and you your pies.'

 

The Pieman nodded miserably, ‘I know

that this is true, but the last time I stopped

to help I was robbed again not long ago.'

Simple Simon sighed, ‘I haven't got a penny,

the bandit took my money too so now

what can we do, of luck we don't have any?'

 

They thought for a while quite lengthy

then Simple Simon said to the Pieman,

‘Even though I haven't got a penny,

I suggest we both set off for the fair,

you never know, our luck might change,

we gain nothing if we do not dare.'

 

The Pieman nodded in agreement

and together Simple Simon and he

set off in good cheer for the moment.

On arriving they discovered the fair

was over by a week and nothing was there.

They stared aghast, both were in despair.

 

The moral of this sorry tale is to be sure

of your dates before you set off for the fair,

go with company to be safe and secure,

and, if you meet an obstacle certain to delay,

hope your company isn't the Pieman

who will be far too scared to help in any way.

 

**************

 

Shattered dreams

 

To walk in ancient woods

wrapped in grief, for beauty

all around cannot quell

the wailing in hearts broken

on the rack of war, where

lives are thrown away

by politicians and generals

far away from battlefields,

and now an only son lies dead

upon the soil of another land

alongside thousands buried

in mud, riddled with bullets,

gassed, blown to pieces

by mortars, and now to walk

along paths he ran through

as a child and was the pride

and joy of his parents, an heir

to an estate cared for and loved

but now empty of meaning.

The pain too deep to bear

for a mother wrapped in mourning

and a father bewailing his loss,

all hope gone from lives

once happy and contented

until war shattered their dreams

and brought them tumbling

down around their feet, never

to recover from the loss

of a beloved son and heir.

 

************

 

Tribute to Stourhead

 

Standing quietly looking over a lake

Tranquil in its stillness, light reflected

On its waters, a garden lovingly created,

Ambitious in its scope but human

In its size, adorned with deciduous

And evergreen trees, and shrubs

And bushes to add flowers and colour

To the contours of the land, lush green

With grass tended with care amidst

Path hewn out of the earth circling

The waters of one large and two lesser

Lakes, and on the large, sit temples

And a grotto to the ancient gods,

Long forgotten now but raised high

In a far distant land from their origins,

Follies but not so foolish, a fitting

Tribute to deities long gone to rest

In their respective heavens and abodes

Now seen by visitors in their millions

Every year, a noble's house and home,

With a long and ancient history of ups

And downs and sadnesses too much

To bear until such time the house

And gardens were given over to the people

To enjoy, to sustain, and to provide

A walk amidst an estate once built

for an elite but now held in perpetuity

for generations to come, a grand house,

a garden of immense beauty growing

old with grace and charm, a place

worthy in its grace to be preserved

for as long as possible in this world

of passing fads and shallow fancies.

 

************

 

Changing perspectives.

 

And the outside world looks on,

satisfaction pervading some.

Observing how politicians deal

with our unexpected uprising,

our looters and rioters, how police

proceed, and claim justification

for their past handling of such

a sudden situation, with extreme

aggression to crush it quick,

smug in their self satisfaction

that the vocal supporters

of their protesters are now caught

in their dilemma, their own revolt.

And some proclaim brutality

and oppression, and the killing

of the innocent, and our standing

in the eyes of many now seen

as hypocritical. Will they decide

to send in their planes to bomb

the government supporters,

the army and aid our protesters?

Suddenly, we are disarmed,

facing a revolt but one that won't

last for sated now, but for how

long? Other countries must fear

that it will be their turn soon

for all have their disenfranchised

and poverty stricken poor.

 

How rapidly situations can arise

that change perspectives overnight,

and turn what was believed right

upside down when faced with

the same at home. A time

for reflection perhaps, but will

not come for cant, hypocrisy

and claims of incomprehension

will burst from indignant mouths

on all side of the political spectrum,

leaving the situation unchanged

and festering still because the will

to remedy the problem isn't there.

The well off can never comprehend

the depth of resentment and unrest

of the poor, the underclass that

once existed but ceased to be

has now returned and will not

lie down anymore, they're ignored

at societies' peril for their

capacity to destroy, to vent

their rage has now been seen.

Who is around to find a solution?

 

***************

 

When a dream goes sour.

 

When a dream goes sour

there comes an hour

when a decision is made

that cannot be delayed

to walk away and leave

and admit to being naïve.

 

The desire for a homeland

based on a spurious demand

to take it from its owners

undoing all their labours

and claiming it as a right,

a God-given birthright.

 

Only to discover their dream

was fanatical in the extreme,

because all were atheists

and it wasn't in their interests

to have those with religion

imposing their ancient doctrine

on those who wanted the new

to be for the elite, select few.

 

The use of force and power,

of influence after the horror

of a war that nearly brought

a people to an end, wrought

in them a paranoia so great

that they forgot, until too late,

the meaning of compassion

for all whose lands were stolen,

and turned on them with venom

to open wide a gaping chasm

now filled with fear and hate.

A situation which won't abate

until a genuine peace is made

and the foundations laid

for peaceful co-existence

and an end to the resistance.

 

Failing that, the dream will die

forever, and nobody will deny

it was the fault of the new

in failing to properly pursue

a greater understanding

of their neighbours' chagrin

on seeing what was done

and how the new was won.

Politicians from the past

sowed blood that would last

bringing chaos in its path

and a sense of righteous wrath.

 

Now the dream is sour

and the settlers see the hour

when all their hopes flounder,

when they made the blunder

of believing they could drive

their neighbours away and revive

an ancient belief in a restoration

of a land, which was the creation

of authors yearning for a place

to establish their religion and race.

A figment of the imagination

now a nightmare for a nation.

 

**************

 

Chaos

 

And order breaks down,

and the people shout for

guns to be fired, for water

cannon, for the army,

for protection. Kill the kids,

kill them for disturbing

our world, for threatening

our world, for not having

a cause just sheer bloody

minded aggression, and

a chance to vent frustration,

boredom, their lack of a future.

While the locals flee

from the onslaught of riots,

organized via Facebook,

Messenger, Smart phones,

modern apps and gadgets,

everybody has a mobile

stuck to their ears, protruding

sending empty chatter

through the airwaves,

keeping in touch, telling

each other where to go,

what street to avoid,

where the police are weak,

and this is a first when

the internet closes like

a net on neighbourhoods

hiding a mass of discontent.

Calling out angry youths,

congregate here, there

and anywhere they're able

to cause a maximum amount

of mayhem. A warning

for the future when anarchy

threatens stability, and the

politicians come running

back from their holidays

full of cant and threats,

promises none can keep,

and the Mayor wields a broom

to help sweep the streets

of the Capital clean.

 

**************

 

Feral

 

Masked, hooded feral youngsters

roaming, hungry for trouble,

aggression high, fear stymied

looting, burning, no consideration

for lives wrecked, property

destroyed, neighbourhoods

ravaged, despoiled, running

wild, savage in their indifference,

unschooled, nothing to lose,

no respecters of authority,

anarchic in their loyalty

to none but their own.

 

And the civilized look on

aghast, fearing the feral ones

now wrecking their streets,

their shops, their homes,

fleeing for their lives, leaping

from the windows of burning

homes to escape death,

horrified that so much changed

so quickly, in a weekend,

life changed, damage that

cannot be undone, and the ferals

disappear into the underclass

from where they came, sated

for a while until they come out

again when the urge to destroy

strikes again, and the civilized

turn on them with ferocity

and stop them in their tracks,

meeting violence with violence

when youngsters turned from

order into harbingers of chaos.

 

***********

 

When what was now is not.

 

Changes in a life

Springing out of nowhere

Disrupt, disturb and alter

What was into now is not.

Adaptation must come

No leeway or option

When what was now is not.

Mindsets break

Necessarily with pain

No change occurs

Without stress

Anger at helplessness

Frustration at new limits

Restrictions not expected

Now permanent

In place with no warning

Just happened

And what was now is not.

In time acceptance

Creeps in unwelcome

But required for life

Must go on

Now under a new regime

Of slowing down

Receiving help

Independence waning

In the light of changes

When what was now is not.

Plans laid down

Now thrown away

Or need alteration

Drastic some

Minor some

Others now impossible

And old dreams fade

Making room

For the new

To take their place

When what was now is not.

 

*************

 

Contentment

 

Sitting facing each other

Smiling

Thoughts coalescing

A life time

Together

Knowing parting

Will come

Not yet hoping

For more time

Attentive

To needs

Fulfilling wants

Tenderly

Caring both

For the other

And the world

Outside

Cannot break in

Protective barriers

Keep out

Ugliness

But occasionally

Seeps in

When caught

Unawares

Unbalancing life

Equilibrium

Out of kilter

Hasty repairs

To restore peace

Harmony

Descends again

Sitting facing each other

Smiling

With contentment.

 

***********

 

Absent Muse

 

‘I wandered lonely as a cloud', the poet said

and repeated it thrice inside then again out loud.

Twas a good beginning for a verse he thought,

there's potential here for a fine poem.

Alas, twas not to be, for however hard he tried,

no further lines appeared, he'd run into a wall,

and as a poet now revered, this wasn't good at all.

 

‘I wandered lonely as a cloud', he repeated yet again,

how hard can it be to find a line to follow this,

he declared, but all in vain, even though the hills

and dales he walked upon were full of inspiration

there was a total lack in him which filled him

with a sense of desperation. There had to be a way

to stimulate his thoughts, to fill them with words

of beauty, hope and whatever else can make poems

appear upon the stage then set them down on paper,

but today was not the day, so he ceased his walk

and, returning home, went into his room and shut

the door, feeling at a loss and deep depressed

while he waited for his Muse to shake him

from his sloth and wake in him once more

that glorious feeling of success when a poem

flowed with ease from mind to voice to paper,

then all would be well within his world, but, until then,

he'd lock himself away wrapped in sadness

and distress, and have his meals brought to him

by his faithful Dorothy, his ever doting sister.

‘I wandered lonely as a cloud', he whispered

in the night, and in his dreams, when suddenly

it was there. ‘That floats on high o'er vales and hills,

when all at once I saw a crowd,

a host of golden daffodils

beside the lake, beneath the trees,

fluttering and dancing in the breeze.' 'Eureka ,'

he cried, ‘I've got it. I'm full of inspiration

once again, and, emerging from his room,

put on his boots and set off for a walk,

and returned with the poem complete,

a happy man indeed now that he had found

his Muse again and could say with humble pride

‘I've finished it at last, and here it is,

‘I wandered lonely as a cloud…' etc. etc. etc.

 

*****************

 

The Poser

 

‘I am a composer,' one declared

‘I am an artist,' said another.

‘I am a poet,' a voice piped in.

‘I am a writer,' proclaimed another.

‘I'm a poser,' said somebody

and everybody stopped and stared.

‘A poser,' one enquired. ‘Yup,

that's me, I'm a poser just like you.'

‘Me,' the one was shocked.

‘Not just you, but all of you. You pose.'

The somebody said. ‘We don't.'

Everybody chorused in one voice.

‘We're clever, talented, skilled,

articulate, eloquent, what are you?'

‘Oh, I'm all of those and more,'

the somebody replied. ‘I slip in where

you can't go. I've the gift of the gab,

can wrap anybody up with words,

and I don't put myself on a pedestal,

I lay low, hidden from sight, slippery

as an eel, cunning as a snake, I write

duets and symphonies as I curl around

my prey, paint pictures not for display

but in receptive minds, I am all of you

and none, and you have most definitely

just been done.' The somebody said

while walking out the door leaving

a composer, an artist, a poet, and a writer

standing with their mouths ajar,

and a lot poorer for somebody had picked

them clean, poetry in motion,

as somebody once said, a picture

speaks a thousand words, music

stirs the soul and a writer could not ask

for a better script than the one

that had just walked out the door.

 

***********

 

Matters of the Heart

 

‘Speak now or forever hold your peace'

thus spake the bard, the reply was sharp

‘Peace, peace, what peace have I? All day

and all of the night, my mind wanders

o'er all my troubles. I walk up and down

till floors do creak and carpets wear,

and, in my bed, I toss and turn, and rise again,

nay, there is no peace for me, and speak

I cannot. My lips are sealed. I've forsworn

I will not utter a word of what is ailing me.

though I would long to give it voice,

the privilege is denied to me, so bid me

not to speak for you will only hear replies

full of woeful moans and deepest sighs.'

 

The bard's face did frown and bit his lip

pondering on his friend's dilemma.

After due time, while supping their ales,

he said. ‘The problem lies, not in what

you cannot say, but in how you word

your replies. If I should ask of you

a question relevant to your situation,

you could answer round about the way

so give nothing away, other than to point

me in the right direction. Would that suffice

to settle your bad conscious should you

say what you have forsworn to secrecy?'

 

His friend, emptied out his tankard,

nodding in assent. ‘Ask away, and I will

try to wind my way around the point

to tell of you of my trouble.'

The bard considered carefully and said,

‘This trouble that you have, dost

concern a maid or man?' His friend

thought. ‘The former I fear.' He replied.

The bard asked. ‘Is the maid known

to both of us, or only you?' ‘Only me.'

Came the answer. A pause from the bard

then, ‘Is your heart involved?' A nod

was the response. ‘Ah, in matters

of the heart, I am the last man to advise,'

The bard replied with a doleful sigh.

‘I fear this trouble that you have is best

sorted out by you alone. If I should

intervene, I swear it will all go wrong.

I have a fearful habit of turning

what was going well into disaster.

Well, until the end, then all is well,

but then I'm the author of the script

so I can manipulate my lovers well.

In real life, my friend, all may not end

so well. I suggest we have another ale

then make our way to our respective

homes, and I will send good thoughts

your way, for no other help dawns

upon my brain.' And with that, two

more ales were drawn and he and his friend

sat supping till both rose and bid

farewell to all around, and wended

their way back home, one to his wife,

the other to his lonely room and

empty life, wondering why the bard

had given up so soon, but now too

light of head to pursue this point,

he fell onto his bed, and, after much,

tossing and turning, finally fell asleep.

 

**********

 

Inconvenient Rain

 

Rain bathed fresh, the garden glows,

lilies sit washed clean of pollen,

yellow dusted now on lower petals.

Hydrangeas play host to liquid pearls

hanging on their lace caps translucent

in their charm, while geraniums

flutter like girls flirting, their earrings

dropping like crystal chandeliers.

Japanese Maples delicate fronds

kowtow in submission weighed

down with raindrops sparkling bright

in the new afternoon sunlight.

And the garden has drunk deep

of Nature's gift abundant here,

for others none for years, no tears

flow from azure skies, but here,

a bounteous supply falls each year.

Without fail it comes, and we sigh

and forget that life would be so harsh

if our rains did not come to water

our soil, nourish our plants,

replenish our rivers, our streams,

sustain our animals and ourselves,

so we give thanks for the rain,

that may be inconvenient and falls

too much, but gives us such a green

and pleasant land which, without the rain,

we could never attain and never sustain.

 

*********

 

The Quest

 

And bright shines the light on yonder hill

guiding my way through fog and mire,

a beacon in the darkness to a safe haven.

I've travelled far to reach this place,

through countryside, city and town,

through marsh, forest, and over the water.

For here it is said lives a man of wisdom,

ancient in years and white of hair,

a man learned in skills unknown to most,

a wielder of magic and wizard craft.

My purpose has been firm when I set off,

to seek him out and plead for a cure,

for my wife is sick of an illness rare

and only his skill can restore her health.

 

Long have I loved this woman dear,

birthed five strong children, three sons

and two daughters fair, now she's laid low

for a year or more, and no physic's remedy

has healed her ills, so I've come to plead

my cause with this esteemed old man.

I approach with trepidation for legend says

he brooks no visitors in his abode,

set high on a hill apart from humankind,

but, just occasionally, he'll deign to answer

a call for help, and render aid for a price.

I know not the cost but I will pay it,

come what may, for my wife's life

is worth all the wealth on earth to me.

 

My horse and I are weary, the hill so steep

to reach his house, and now we're here

and I am filled with foreboding,

I fear I will not be able to meet the cost,

but I must try so ring the chimes

beside his gates and dismounting, wait

trembling and sorely tired, and I wait.

All night I stood before that gate

until the morning dawned. It opened

then with a great groan and I walked in.

A man stood before his house's door,

a sight that did not calm my dread.

 

Stark white hair blowing in the wind,

feet astride, fierce of face with eyes

of steel, and I near fainted with alarm

for he opened his mouth to speak

and no words came out but spake

directly in my mind. ‘What seek you?'

He demanded sternly. ‘A cure for my wife.'

I replied believing now that all was lost.

He scowled. ‘You bother me with trifles.'

He growled within my head.

‘My wife means the world to me.'

I said my indignation growing.

‘No trifle is her precious life, to me

and to our children, she is the sun,

the moon, the stars, the comfort of our lives.'

 

He gazed down at me and I thought

I saw his eyes soften but my hope

was dashed when he said. ‘My price

is more than you can pay.'

‘Anything.' I replied, ‘No cost is too

much for her precious life.' He smiled.

‘Give me one of your sons.' He said.

I stared aghast. ‘What will you do

with him?' I asked. ‘An apprentice

for my craft, I grow old and need

a strong and healthy boy to aid me,

and you have three, give me one,

and I'll heal your wife of her infirmity.'

 

Long did I stand before that door,

and long did he stare down at me.

My heart was breaking, my wife

would never agree to such a price.

Even if I said ‘Yes' to it, she would

never ever forgive me. In the end,

I shook my head. ‘I cannot give

you one of our sons. My wife's life

is wondrous precious to me, but

all our children are beloved by her,

to lose one forever would surely

break her heart so I'll be on my way.'

I turned and walked towards the gate.

 

His voice resounded loud and clear,

‘Describe your wife's illness to me.'

I stopped and turned hope resurging

and told him every lurid detail.

He went back inside his house

And I waited for three long hours

near faint from lack of food and water,

my horse nigh dead from hunger too.

Then he returned, handed me a phial.

‘Give this to her.' He said. ‘But the cost.'

I said. ‘No cost.' He replied. ‘Had you

given me a son, I would have denied

my help for your wife would have

died of grief instead, and there is

no cure for that.' He paused. ‘There's

sustenance for you and for your horse

in the stables. Rest, eat and be on your way,

my mercy is exhausted for today.'

 

And so I did and left the man's abode

with grateful heart, and relief

beyond compare. When I returned

to my own home, I found my wife

so close to death I feared I was too late,

but, upon administering the cure,

she rallied, and, by next morn,

she was sitting up and smiling.

Our children were elated, and I

was beside myself with joy, the man

had truly kept his word, and I, with humble

thanks, sent word within my head,

and he replied softly. ‘I am glad.'

 

***************

 

Indecision

 

Shall I, shan't I, shall I, shan't I?

What to do, what to do?

Put one foot in, pull one foot out,

in, out, in, out, and still

uncertain what to do.

 

Decisions, decisions, decisions,

can't make them,

dither here, dither there,

dither, dither everywhere,

just can't make ‘em.

 

Once I could decide, I could,

now I can't, at least

I think I could but now

I can't. What if it's wrong?

Uncertainly has increased.

 

Is it age, or is it only me

who teeters on the edge,

weighing everything

until I can't decide

whether to step off the ledge?

 

I will, I won't, I will, I won't,

this is killing me.

Yes, I will, I'll do it now,

well maybe later, or soon

oh, hell, my knees have turned to jelly.

 

I spend my life now in a tizz,

swimming one way then the other.

Think too much,

won't someone come along

and tell me which one's safer.

 

There's nothing for it, I'm off,

I've made a decision,

I'm going, I've shut the door.

Where's my key? Oh, damn,

why do I always make the wrong decision?

 

************

 

The Invisible.

 

When you make a child invisible,

that child becomes an adult

who sees themselves as invisible.

 

Every failure to acknowledge

their reality says they're invisible,

and it will continue throughout their lives,

unless others confirm they're not invisible.

 

The problem is, others' lives are busy,

preoccupied, they don't notice the invisible,

so there's a daily struggle not to believe

that the world outside treats them as invisible.

 

There's little that can be done, the harm is there.

When little, they realized they were invisible,

when no hugs came, no words of love,

but others got both so they had to be invisible.

 

How strange to live in the midst of a world

but not to be really there because invisible.

Such an adult can wait and wait for affirmation

from family but none comes so know they're invisible.

 

From their birth to their death, they could shout

‘I'm here', but to no avail for they really are invisible.

In the world of the visible, such children and adults

slip through the cracks of reality because truly invisible.

 

Occasionally, when they die, it dawns on the visible,

someone is absent, but they cannot miss the invisible.

And so it will go on, until the end of humankind,

the visible will walk the earth oblivious of the invisible.

 

************

 

Gardens

 

So much beauty,

Breathtaking, sumptuous,

Colours vibrating,

Laid with such care

To please the eye,

And yet,

People pass by,

No glance either side.

Nature's glory displayed

To delight, entice

But still be ignored.

Talking, walking

Laughing, missing

It all. I'm in awe.

So much beauty

gathered together,

Appreciative bees,

Butterflies, hover flies.

They see, taste,

enjoy Nature's

Bounteous gifts,

While those it's for

Walk by, oblivious

Too many times

Sadly. I keep the beauty,

Snapping a moment

In time to relish

For years, to remember

When beauty was there

For the viewing

Laid with such care

To please the eye.

 

**********

 

Revolution

 

On a day like today with the sun shining bright,

it's hard to believe that so much isn't right.

In a world of turmoil, tumult and mayhem,

it's not hard to discern what's causing them.

The hard wired desire for overall power

and an individual placed in an ivory tower,

set above all to rule with oppression and fear,

is hardly likely to incite respect or endear.

Factions in government cannot help either,

with two sides splitting, most loyal to neither.

And the people look on with growing unease,

believing at some point the battle will cease,

but, slowly it dawns them, it's not going to end,

and it's up to them their rights to defend.

 

When money is allied with power, turmoil

spreads like a plague seeking only to despoil.

Now, across countries and lands far and wide,

there's an abyss opening, a massive divide

between those who have and those who have not,

with the former amassing their forces to plot

how to stay on top, while the latter struggle to eat,

to find shelter, passive in their utter defeat.

 

And the feeling of anger is beginning to stir.

A widespread dissent that began as a murmur,

now growing louder and louder that it's wrong

that the greedy, the ruthless, and brutally strong,

should be able to decide the fate of us all.

So begins a bloodless revolutionary call

to put a voice to protests, a signature on a petition,

until millions stand up and refuse their submission

to those who would tyrannize and oppress,

kill and imprison the innocent, and repress

those who cry out for justice. Put an end

to the reign of the cold hearted, who pretend

to care, when money and power is their true desire.

That terrible, primal thirst that sets some afire,

this must cease, so that somehow, some way,

peace and prosperity for all will arrive one day.

Until then, shout loud, protest, petition and fight

to uphold all that is good in this world and right.

 

**************

 

Time Out

 

A still day when nothing stirs,

no breeze wafts through the leaves

and no sound is heard when the world

pauses for breath. Easy to miss

but it happens, and you stand

motionless in a silent stillness

so tangible you can touch it.

Everything must rest, even the world

and it does, imperceptibly

for the busy, ignorant or unaware,

but, for others, it wraps around them

like a mist, soothing, a calmness

unearthly in its depth and peace,

a time of reflection, of meditation

on the meaning of life, of creation,

a space in the time/matter continuum

when all is still, at rest, in a little death.

 

***********

 

On Tiptoe

 

On tiptoe she reached

Finger tip close

But just out of reach

Must have

Can't reach

Tears

 

On tiptoe she reached

Finger tip scraped

Trying so very hard

Might have

It's falling

Tears

 

On tiptoe she reached

Finger tips touched

Cheeks blushed pink

Mustn't have

I'm falling

Tears

 

On tiptoe she reached

Finger tips cold

Lips blue skin pale

Can't have

She's fallen

Tears.

 

************

 

A Hiccup in Life

 

Alas my moods have been up the creek

and it has lasted for the whole of the week.

I got infected sinuses that blocked my nose,

from where it came, heaven knows.

I've stayed in bed, or wondered around,

feeling like I've just been drowned.

When I started taking an antibiotic,

I felt like death warmed up and so lethargic,

and it made my moods even more chaotic.

On top of that, my back is playing up

making me feel like I needed a tuneup.

I'm running on empty, energy depleted,

a short walk and it cannot be repeated.

A deep sigh escapes from me, I'm boring,

seem to spend most of my time now moaning.

I should buck myself up, would stand straight

if I could but I can't, so while nerves grate

and my moods degenerate into self-pity,

and over everything, there's my super sensitivity,

I'm going to hibernate, close my door

and cuddle myself, because I have a rapport

with everybody who is feeling rotten

with bugs, viruses and infections ill begotten,

or with aches and pains in ageing bodies,

and when I am renewed and free of worries,

I'll feel strong enough to deal with everything,

but, for now, I can deal with barely anything.

 

************

 

Ode to the Mobile Phone!

 

I don't like mobile phones,

they're way out of my comfort zones!

I try this, I try that, I stand on my head

and end up cursing and shouting instead.

The manual is written for the young and geeks

learned in all these newfangled techniques.

While I, who come out of the gadget illiterate,

am sure that this gobbledygook is deliberate

sent to confuse, confound and befuddle

and create for all of us a total muddle.

I search through the manual with care

only to find what I want isn't there.

Not a sign of an instruction anywhere

which leaves me infuriated, frustrated and mad,

mainly because it is seriously bad

to sell such an item without adequate teaching!

It's enough to make us end up screeching,

‘I hate you, I hate you, I hate you', oh, I did,

so now I'm going to put it away, and, heaven forbid,

I pick it up for a while because having a fit

really doesn't help anyone one little bit.

I'm off to have coffee and not think of this again

because it has, really and truly, screwed with my brain.

 

************

 

The Blues

 

We live day to day, snatching small mercies along the way,

a kind word there, a hug here, keeping wounds and pains at bay.

We look out at the world searching for hope that will help us cope

but so often find chaos, suffering and death with endless scope.

There's so much goodness concealed out there, but so hard to find

in a world that can only hone in on the worst in humankind.

We are thrown the very occasional snippet of positive news

that briefly helps drive away our understandable blues.

But these are so very few and far between, and it has to be said,

many people find the sexual antics of celebrities in their beds

far more interesting than the finer, more uplifting aspects of life,

and many lap up stories of vice, crime, murder or an erring wife

with the eagerness of famine victims after food, and why not,

when constantly fed a diet of garbage, an addiction is possible for grot.

The option exists to turn away, to reject the world that we've got

but, in many, that option means the beginning of a rot,

a desire to not see, to bury your head in the sand, to believe

that it does no good to ponder over things you cannot relieve.

One day we may find, if that is the case, that the world has succumbed

and our minds and our hearts have grown so cold and benumbed

we won't care, but will continue feeding the addiction for trash

as we roll with inexorable speed like an unstoppable crash

towards the abyss and the end of the world as we know it,

because we just haven't bothered to embrace it and care for it.

 

************

 

Life's Gift

 

Nothing prepares you for Life.

What meets you is beyond imagination,

no education, advice or instruction

is adequate when it comes to Life.

 

When you reach adulthood in Life

it welcomes you with open arms,

holding out for you a myriad charms,

but its allure can be a snare for your life.

 

Full of hope you plunge into Life,

naïve in your understanding of its ways,

you exalt in the freedom it displays

until you realize it owns your life.

 

Life imposes its rules on your life.

You live within them or you could die,

surviving on the outside is to bid goodbye

to all that you hold dear in your life.

 

Life, though, can be kind in your life.

It can raise you up when you've sunk low,

sustain you in times of grief and sorrow

and restore hope in your blighted life.

 

It's a learning experience in one life,

a gift like no other, awesome in its content,

fearsome and wondrous in its portent,

the bestowal of Life on a single life.

 

For those who grow old in their life,

there's time to look back with joy and regret

realizing humbly that you owe Life a debt,

for the remarkable, undeserved gift of a life.

 

***********

 

Victorian Advice

 

Listen, my child, there's a world outside,

it's not at all like your home here inside.

Here, you are the centre of our attention,

safe under your parent's protection,

What I have to say mustn't make you afraid

but it might make you somewhat dismayed.

The world is full of seen and unseen dangers,

people can be both crooks and cadgers,

able to see that you are young and innocent

so an easy target in their wicked judgement.

What you must be outside is as gentle as a dove

but, inside, have the mind of a snake, my love.

Slippery as an eel inside to evade being prey

but doing it with wisdom in your own unique way.

Along the path, you'll be faced with difficulties

so always set yourself intelligent boundaries.

Some you can bypass with ease, others not.

Those you can't, use the wiles inside you've got.

Always remember, don't sell yourself short,

at the first sign of selling out, your plans abort.

Now, from the other side, you have a lot to offer.

You can be a good worker or an idle loafer,

the one you choose will decide your future.

The former will help you grow in stature,

the latter will leave you with no dignity or pride,

regarded as a wastrel so it's for you to decide.

And, last but no means least, my sweet child,

keep yourself clean, tidy and undefiled.

Now, go to bed, tomorrow you will be five

and thank the lord for keeping you alive.

 

***********

 

A Stitch in Time

 

‘A stitch in time saves nine'.

It never seemed to with mine.

I did a stitch and watched all unravelling

at a rate of knots it was travelling.

I tried so hard to stop the flow

but on it went to the end of the row.

I jabbed with the needle desperately

trying to stop it but failed miserably.

Now my once happy life is just a mess,

I'm living it under extreme duress.

That wretched stitch I placed with care

has led me only to deep despair.

Next time, when such advice is given,

the person saying it I will flatten.

I'm going now to find a way

to drive the chaos from my life away.

I know it won't be easy but I'll try,

after all, little else could go awry.

 

‘Famous last words',

Flee, whoever said that to me,

your life's in danger you wait and see.

I want no more adages or sayings

however wise or funny the phrasings.

Just leave me to my own devices,

I've ways of dealing with my own vices.

They're minor in comparison with most

and that's not an empty lie or boast.

Just a fact, I'm really quite good at heart

but I want to be left alone for a start.

So, for just a while, I'm going away,

the mending could take a month or a day.

Take care of all your lovely selves,

and be sure to behave yourselves,

else you could end up with stitches dropped

and find your happiness, like mine, has stopped.

One last word of hard won advice,

everything you do has a price,

so be good, be wise, be very careful,

and be patient with the always cheerful.

 

*****************

 

A Rift in Time

 

A rift in time, a disruption in space,

an abyss where the unsuspecting fall.

A sudden catastrophic change

throws worlds into total disarray,

severing what was reality

and replacing it with hell.

Unprepared, hearts pound,

minds grasp desperately around

to understand what's going on

as the ground beneath feet

is suddenly solid no more,

and all that seemed so secure

has vanished, and mouths speak

but the words make no sense,

the facts defy confirmation,

they can't be right, what was

is where the body wants to be,

but the eyes are blinded now

with grief and the awful reality

of mortality stolen violently away,

and silence will fill the vacuum

of lives torn apart in a moment,

an instant when what was

no longer is, and the terrible dawning,

nothing will ever be the same again.

 

*************

 

The Triangle

 

The equilateral triangle is equal

on all three sides and equiangular.

In language there is a triangle

of subject , predicate , and copula .

The moon is also triangular

in that it waxes, wanes and is full.

Nature will not be left out either

with mineral, vegetable , and animal.

Ethereal in its triune state the triangle

of body, mind and spirit,

and in the divine expression,

father, son and Holy Ghost,

with father, mother and child

the trinity of human kind.

 

It enters into time and space

with past, present and future.

Into the mind and heart

with thought, feeling and emotion,

and into the Universal law

of creation, preservation and destruction.

Then there is the law of life and death

with creator, destroyer and sustainer,

and into the centre of life

with power, intellect and love,

tempered always in the heart

by Love, truth and wisdom,

when being judged by all three

for thoughts, words and deeds.

 

In the triad of the trees,

the oak, ash and thorn reign supreme,

while Pythia sits on a three legged chair

and Cerberus, the three headed dog,

growls ominously for all to beware,

and the three Fates chat with the Graces,

while the three Gorgons consult the Furies.

 

Thus the triangle is the key to the integrity

and interdependence of all existence,

renowned throughout history

and held in awe and profound reverence.

 

************

 

The Circle

 

Round and round the mulberry bush

so the words of the nursery rhyme go

Circles within circles so the rhythm

of our lives go,

until the circle is closed

and it's time to go.

 

A circle is full of complexity,

Feuerbach's circle , Euler's circle ,

Terquem's circle , the six-points circle ,

the twelve-points circle , the n -point circle ,

the medioscribed circle , the mid circle

or the circum-midcircle ,

all are the nine point circle!

 

It's the circle of Life for many tribes,

the Power of the world, the sacred hoop.

In Buddhism, the four circles,

fire of wisdom, vajra circle, tombs

and lotus circle, the mandala,

the Dharma wheel encircling

the eightfold path of right belief,

resolution, speech, action, living,

effort and right thinking,

Circles embrace the earth,

the Arctic circle , the Antarctic circle,

the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn

and in the middle, the Equator.

It's the symbol of Infinity, democracy,

the council, the campfire,

King Arthur's Round table.

It's the Halo, the Rainbow

and the circle Dance.


Symbol of Alchemy, Anarchy,

Bindu, Medicine Wheel,

Dreamcatcher, Compass,

Peace symbol, Sun Wheel,

World Triad, all designed

to make humans feel

the power of the Circle

as the ultimate geometric symbol.

 

**************

 

String

 

Twang go the strings of my heart!

A piece can tie us in knots, support a drooping part,

bind things together, help trousers stay up

while String Theory makes the Universe shapeup.

 

A piece of string is a very useful thing,

particularly when there's snagged netting,

or for playing Cat's Cradle with your kids,

or temporarily holding together broken lids.

 

Where would the world be without string?

Would it trigger a process of unraveling?

Would we all fly off in every direction?

This being only a hypothetical projection.

 

Let's hope that the strings that bind the Universe

don't decide one day to suddenly disperse

and send the galaxies careering through space,

that would be a downright disgrace.

 

We've just tied everything together, almost,

which, for us, really is no idle boast,

so the idea that the strings might not be there

is more than most scientific minds could bear.

 

Having said all that, the best thing we can do

is to have string handy should the worst ensue.

We can tie the Universe back together again,

after all, it's why Life evolved an intelligent brain!

 

************

 

The Last Show

 

A hint of lace around a throat,

a gloved hand posed in place,

a soft sigh from perfect lips,

a inhalation from a handkerchief

scented to disguise the smell

of streets awash with detritus.

From a coach to touch mud

a delicate shoe steps down

as the diva arrives for her show,

staining the satin a dirty brown.

 

Onlookers gape, wiping hands

on clothes as if to clean themselves

before looking at the sight.

Broken teeth leer wide smiles,

the singer has come to town.

The saloon owner stands proud

his hand out to help her descend.

She, with disdain, gazes down

thinking how unfair life had been

to bring her to a hick's town.

 

In all her years as a songbird

feted and wined, she had trilled

her way to the top, but the voice

was tired now, her looks fading,

it was loneliness drove her here.

A need for security, for recognition,

for adoration, in these places

she could still see the light gleaming

in the eyes of hard working men

as she took to the boards singing.

 

So, for this one last time, the diva

accepted the saloon owner's hand,

regretting the mud on her shoes,

the smell of sweat all around,

and, smiling graciously, walked in

on his arm to applause from the bar,

knowing, that with her voice gone,

his offer of marriage was an option

she could not ignore, he beamed

with delight, while she feigned

satisfaction with his faded looks

hoping her smile could be retained.

 

And so, with true showmanship,

the diva took to the stage for one

last time, her prospective groom

aglow with pride as she sang

holding the notes as best she could

before her voice gave out,

then left the stage to rapturous

cheering from the audience

wearing their Sunday best,

all avoiding swearing or spitting,

and the padre married the pair

in the cool evening air and drinks

flowed free in hick's town somewhere.

 

**************

 

Harsh Light

 

Harsh light, cruel light, dark night,

malicious spite born from wounds

deep and rancorous, not cauterized,

unhealed and malodorous, burning

a being inside, setting alight the world

with its own tormented schemes.

Nemesis screaming for justice,

revenge afire in a fevered mind,

searing the last remnants of compassion

from broken fragmented hearts.

And the world succumbs to its wrath,

bending in submission, it secedes

and blood soaks the earth in streams

when death stalks the land armed

with a rage unstoppable until satiated

before it rests. Wars, conflicts and feuds

fuel the need to inflict brutal reprisals,

others must die be they young or old,

none are spared in the frenzy of killing

when bloodlust is born in the harsh light

of a dark night when Death stalks the land.

 

***********

 

Soft Light

 

Soft light melts through the window

awakening thoughts, stirring dreams,

embracing me in a blanket of warmth

as it illuminates my world in its glow.

 

Seated poised at my keyboard waiting,

I watch it play on my ageing hands,

aware of inspiration's creative touch

I sense the muse sits quietly observing.

 

Throwing a bone to a sparking mind

I see a word grow and become another,

and slowly the verses come into being,

order out of chaos for me to find.

 

Now a cloud crosses the sun's beams,

lit from behind, its silver edge gleams

drifting lazily as it passes my window

while I rest easy in my muse's dreams.

 

************

 

The Memory

 

The sweetest face, the most tender smile

as he takes my face in his small hands

and tells me how much he loves me,

and all my worries melt away

in that priceless moment so sublime

when a child comforts a mother

feeling overcome by troubles,

and, sensing her distress and pain,

seeks to take it away from her again.

 

So wondrous is that time, so precious

it cannot be forgotten, held forever,

wrapped in loving recollection,

when the meaning of communion

comes to life and brings two beings

together in a bond of endless joy.

The touch of such small hands,

the look of total love and concern,

and then the comfort will forever return.

 

Though memories often fade in time,

some remain in tact, defying dissolution

to be a treasure chest, opened seldom

because, sometimes, too much to bear,

but, on occasions, spring to mind,

the clasp on the chest suddenly undone

when comfort is required, and life

seems burdensome beyond the norm,

then the memory arises to calm the storm

and restores, once more, a heartfelt smile.

 

************

 

On a hot, humid day.

 

On a hot humid day laid back and smoking,

a cool beer in hand and music drifting on the air.

A trumpet solo cool as the beer and as laid back

as the day serenades the listener on a hot humid day.

Sweet honeysuckle scent wafts on a breeze

and the azure sky plays with cotton wool clouds.

Nothing to do but play, to relax and enjoy

the hot humid day. Lazy day, too hot for work,

ideal for sitting lazing, the dog at his feet

using his chair as a shade, its tail wagging

along with the music on a hot humid day.

Wife cooking something light for dinner.

Smells like chicken in a basket with chips,

belly growling as she wanders outside

and lays two baskets on the table in the garden.

Smiling, he hands her an iced beer, which she takes

and drinks deep before dropping into the chair

beside him and wiping the small beads of sweat

from her brow. The food gets eaten lazily

and slowly with homemade bread and chunks

of butter with fingers, laughing as he licks them

languorously, then kisses her hand for a sumptuous

feast before getting out another couple of beers

and sits there in this idyll, full now and relaxing

on a hot humid day created only for play

and music drifting on the air, harmony in tune,

and harmony all around as the wife and he

sit in the garden on a hot, humid, laid back day.

 

***********

 

You are the Light of my Life

 

You are the light of my life he said to me,

‘can I make you a nice cup of tea?'

You are the light of my life he said to me

looking down at his pronounced stiffy.

You are the light of my life he said to me,

‘will you spend the rest of your life with me?'

You are the light of my life he said to me,

your beauty quite overwhelms me daily.

You are the light of my life he said to me

but I wish you weren't so very carefree.

You are the light of my life he said to me

but I wish you weren't so very untidy.

You are the light of my life he said to me

but I wish you'd take more care of your body.

You are the light of my life he said to me

but I wish you were more wifely.

You are the light of my life he said to me

but I wish you weren't sixty but twenty.

You are the light of my life he said to me

but I do wish you weren't quite so ugly.

You are the light of my life he said to me

but I do wish you were more shapely.

You are the light of my life he said to me

but I do wish your boobs were less droopy.

You are the light of my life he said to me

and fell over dead almost immediately.

 

You were the light of my life I said to him

and life with you has been incredibly grim.

You were the light of my life I said to him

and it was you who made me so very prim.

You were the light of my life I said to him

and I'm free at last from your every whim.

 

Yeah!

 

***************

 

Rain today.

 

Listless day, rolling on in endless tedium,

rain soaked and cloudy, the sun's anthem,

a day for contemplating Life, the Universe,

or even all things worldly and perverse.

 

A time for doing things long put aside

before they become an unstoppable tide.

Throwing out your life's flotsam and jetsam,

hard, heavy work and extremely toilsome.

 

Alternatively, relax and enjoy a good read

ignore the dust which has learned how to breed,

and the cobwebs multiplying along the coving,

just accept every day need not be spent slaving.

 

So, when you see rain pouring from the skies,

pause for moment or two, and realize

you can make it a day of relaxed rest and play

or spend it working your butt off all day.

 

I know which one I'd choose, do you?

 

***********

 

Oh, body!

 

Oh, body, body, wherefore art thou body?

Thou art falling to pieces far too quickly.

No sooner has one part healed when another

falls apart and refuses stubbornly to get better.

One moment it's the back that goes awry

then it's an arm that will not comply,

after that, it's a knee that clicks like mad,

and kneeling before my love is really bad.

The heart can suddenly start to palpitate

putting you in seriously worried state.

Its cavorting in your chest not through passion

appears a sign that living is going out of fashion.

You fear you're about to leave this mortal coil

which brings your blood pressure to the boil,

something else which isn't good for you,

making the medics ask what is it that you do

to make your heart pound and blood stew?

You can say with honesty, I'm growing old

and the ravages of time are uncontrolled.

Would that I could slow it down but, alas,

we have reached that stage where an impasse

has come about, I long for many more years

of health and an able body while Life it appears

has other ideas. It sneaks up and lays me low

just when all seems fine, and I'm full of get up and go,

it decides to toss a spanner in the works

and send my poor body off in one of its quirks

leaving me in pain, full of stress and annoyed,

because sending all my plans into the void.

Deepest sighs I express and find that hurts.

I wheeze, sneeze and my nose runs that alerts

me to the horrid truth, I've got a wretched cold.

I'm going to bed, I'm depressed and won't be consoled.

Life can be very cruel, so why do I try to extend it?

Must be because I really love it, but now hate it a little bit.

 

********

 

Laugh till you die

 

Laugh till your belly hurts,

laugh with just a smirk,

laugh with uninhibited passion,

laugh with riotous abandon,

laugh till tears run down your face,

laugh when corpsing in the wrong place.

Whatever the reason you have for laughing,

keep on doing it until the day you're dying,

for nothing will keep your body stronger

or keep your mind alert for a whole lot longer.

A sign of intelligence in mammals and primates,

an easer of tension, and a disbander of hates,

so laugh from the depths of your being

and rejoice that there is a cure for ageing,

and, even better by far, it's free,

what better reason for using it can there be?

 

***********

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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