RECENT POEMS 9
Nerves, once dead, now start twitching.
‘Nerves, once dead, now start twitching'.
A pulse throbbing, awakening something
deep inside, sleepwalking through a world
not seen before, searching for something
not yet written, its location defying finding,
for hiding in the recesses of a mind, dreaming
of a poem not yet written but in the process
of becoming, and frustration rises with no lines
appearing, and then a wall so tall with no way
round for what should be is not yet, but feels
so real. In restless sleep, the mind propels
itself ever deeper, compelled to search
ever wider but, no matter how broad
the sweep, the first line is the only line
found for certain, all the rest remain
obscure, clouded in a veil of shadows,
apart from ‘nerves, once dead, now start
twitching', seeking a resolution or a meaning,
ingrained in neurons that can't let go,
the line implies something, but what
stays hidden, and sleep becomes untenable
in the unreasonable refusal for the line
to yield a further one, or show where
it is located if already written, and,
in the quiet of the night, sleep abandoned,
the mind retreats to other things, to wait
until the morning for a rational solution.
The God of Mammon
Bodies of children lay amongst the rubble,
parts of adults strewn around like confetti,
another day, another way to destroy lives,
and the drones strike out elsewhere dropping
their load to kill more of the enemy
that suddenly appeared from out of nowhere,
when the Cold war was here, another enemy
was there, then, suddenly, the Wall fell,
and that enemy was gone, a new one
was required, and, as if by magic, the new
emerged to satisfy the need of the war machines,
busy churning out death and despair
wherever the need to kill arises, no longer
to defend, now attack before the enemy
hits back. And the madness multiplies,
while the world economies teeter on the brink
of ruination, an Armageddon not of deities
in mythical heavens, but an earthly one
of Mammon, this one consumes, devours,
oppresses, represses, corrupts, ruins
and, ultimately, controls countries everywhere.
No kindly deity this, but one that demands
obedience, brooking no rebellion, and,
all in authority, bow before it, minions,
priests of their deity, and nothing is untouched,
untainted by it, its communion is consumption
of goods, money its blessing, and its promise
is happiness on earth for all who bow down
at its feet and bring new victims in each day.
Bright and shiny, its cathedrals, glass reflecting
sanctity, authority over the vast majority
of the human race, and the war machine
keeps churning out death and despair
while Mammon sits on its throne casting
coins to the starving and watching them
choking as they try to consume them.
While an elite uses the world as a playground,
a place for them to enjoy all that the majority
cannot, and making sure it sees what they do,
so the God of Mammon can make certain
that greed, envy and discontentment lives
in the hearts of many as it dispenses promises
that they too can be like this if they do this
or that. And Love runs on a dry tank in a world
where consumption and war is the prime mover,
and the desert of the spirit can only hover
over the parched land until humans understand
how lethal is the god of Mammon, and its minions,
and cease to kneel at its feet. All gods fall in the end,
this one, though, has outlived every other deity so far.
In the morning sunshine, my mood is light,
no more winter wear, goodbye to thermals,
socks, and all things to keep us warm,
and hello to dresses, sunhats, sandals,
and the bliss of walking in the heat.
No more wasted energy trying to keep
the cold out, and the Summer sun
declares the change of season. But,
sadly, not for long, so make the best
of what we've got, this is Britain , the land
of rain, lush fields of green, rolling verdant
hills, and counties each with their own
perfection, but, oh so frequently, we need
umbrellas, water proof gear and can stand
by the sea in pouring rain throughout
the year. But, when the sun finally does appear,
oh, how my mood becomes light as the sky
turns blue, and clouds burn away,
and the sun beams down on us for just
a few days to bring us all a brief temporary
respite from the usual cloud and rain
that will insist on falling throughout
the Winter, Spring, Summer and Autumn.
Ancient stones of a castle, once proud,
now stands in ruins, a casualty of war
between a king and a church, stepping
over ground once trod by nobles, serfs,
ladies, and a host of people sheltered
within its walls, working at their tasks,
each with their own lives, concerns,
anxieties, fears, joys and hopes, all gone,
now dust, lost in the mists of time,
from a day long past, and all but the stones
survive to bear witness to a place
built with care, a castle to protect,
defend and stood for five hundred years
before it died, torn down to lie a scar
upon the landscape, a reminder to all
that royal power holds sway over all,
and none shall stand in its way. Woe
to those who dare challenge a throne,
these stones, these broken walls,
these rooms open now to the sky,
where the elements wreak more ruin
beneath wind, rain and snow to show
that mere stones cannot hold back
the wrath of warriors, called to arms
and sent to bring the rebels to their knees.
When the floors seeped blood of the dead,
until it ran in channels like rivers
in full spate, all washed away now
through the passage of time, buried
in forgetfulness of all the fallen,
perhaps still full of ghosts tied to ruins,
once their home, but, in the sunlit
afternoon, I walked through their world
and saw one bird, a magpie, fly down
and seem to play amongst the dead,
maybe a solitary witness amidst
the masses of the unaware, mere
tourists, and even we are few
picking our way through the ancient
stones of a castle that once stood proud.
A restless Spirit
Feet that roam they know not where,
from here to there, ever restless,
yearning for a place to stay,
a spirit that knows not how to settle.
A world to explore, to seek answers
to questions not voiced aloud
sending feet walking from here
to there, ever restless anywhere.
A moment captured to stop those feet,
when beauty held the mind in thrall
and the restless spirit stopped,
relishing the brief respite.
But, not for long, something called
deep inside, no rest yet,
while life still burns within,
and there are answers to be found.
So ever onward those feet did walk,
calloused by the constant tread,
until a moment came shattering
all dreams with images of horror
and bloodshed to stop the restless spirit
in its tracks, but, once more,
not for long, too much to bear this time
the sight of human suffering.
And so those feet sojourned on,
looking to others to tell the spirit
what is truth, is Love and does
Death always win? But none
could give an answer to satisfy
the restless yearnings of the spirit
for all were seeking the same thing,
all ever restless in this finite world.
One day those feet grew too old
to walk from here to there,
though restless still, the spirit
had grown so weary of the quest,
and, finally, sat down beneath
a tree, and leaned against it to listen
to the sounds around and heard
‘The answer has always been inside.'
‘The answer has always been inside.'
And the spirit sighed deep and long
then, beneath the shaded tree, it died
satisfied at last, but sad that it had
taken so long to learn, and now
too late for those restless feet
had roamed they knew not where
from here to there, ever restless anywhere.
Drowning in information, in data,
in instructions, in worlds not created
for you but for geeks, if you do this,
you will get this, a fait accompli…
Not! Back to square one, start again,
and so it goes on, switch off, turn on,
check this, check that, delete this,
delete that, see hidden this, see hidden
that, and don't forget to tick this
and tick that, and restart, and result…
Not! And now the treadmill begins,
round and round and round it goes,
do this, try that, take this out, put this in,
install this, uninstall that, re-install this,
re-install that, that will resolve it…
Not! And frustration sets in, not just here
but elsewhere as people begin to see
that what is promised just won't be
because the software's broken, it doesn't
work, and it's not your fault, you're
following all the instructions, but
the support centre teams are told
what to advise, and it's everything
that doesn't work. Just typical of today,
made for you so that you can do this
and that, but you can't because it won't
do this or that no matter what you try,
until all you want to do is lie down and die.
Answer, give up, it's broke, and it ain't
your fault, you've done your bit,
and now you know the software is
basically crap, like so much today
it promises everything and gives you sh*t.
Time on your hands
Time on your hands with no urgent demands,
the past has gone, the present is here, and the future
an unknown juncture leaving the Now the all,
impossible to forestall, holding all in its thrall.
The eye sees, the mind perceives and the present
is, a new creation with options open temporarily,
a decision to be made bravely to move this way
or that, and the future arrives without delay.
From perception to conception to creation
it happens in the blink of an eye, no resurrection
of the past, all is new, the idea that nothing changes
a fallacy, each instant original as Life rearranges.
In the centre all stand, unfixed, amorphous,
but not superfluous, an integral part of the whole,
for the builder of worlds are creatures of sentience
undoing and rebuilding every moment of existence.
All is in flux until death steps in to end a life,
though some believe in karmic reincarnation,
while others see only annihilation or resurrection,
whatever the truth, Life is one mysterious sensation.
The little critter nosed around in the dirt,
paws digging, sniffing the air, taking care
not to be caught unaware as he sought
the long hidden treasure buried there.
A bone, manured nicely, last year's find,
one of a kind, big enough to chew upon
for many a long hour in his secret bower
beneath the ancient oak and the passion flower,
seeded from somewhere not here in the wood,
where it has stood winding its way upwards
towards the sky and where the critter
loved to lie watching the world go by,
away from human habitation and noise
to hear the song of birds, the call of the wild
that stirred inside him as he lay curled
up on the bare earth surrounded by smells,
dells of blue bells and wild anemones.
Bliss in dog heaven, remembering days
when he was a wolf so long ago, and now
a mongrel, a hybrid of many a variety,
bred for humans to keep them company
and, suddenly, there it was, his treasure
to gnaw at his leisure and pure pleasure
in the dappled sunlight of the deep woods
before his master's call would alert him
and it would be time to leave his bower
to return to a house human's call home
and sit at his feet, be fed, patted and then
sent out to sit guard on what wasn't his own,
but where he'd grown from a pup to dog,
and grew attached to the tall lanky man
who gave him a name, and let him roam
when the mood came up him to run free.
A fair deal, he mused as he chewed his bone
in the woods on a peaceful sunlit afternoon.
All will be well?
The world in a spin, and we move
like sleepers in a dream believing
all will be well, the leaders are here,
not seeing the edge of the abyss so near.
Experts abound, all knowing, all seeing,
with advice gleaned from all around,
but the signs are there clearly marked,
national interests protected, dissected,
and found to be weak, fire walled
against depression, not so recession,
for better a succession of recessions
than a full blown world wide depression.
And the people go about their business,
most with heads in the sand, unseeing,
trusting or not interested, believing
all will be well, our leaders are here.
They'll sort it out, whatever it may be,
but, soon, they'll sit up and see
all won't be well, we're heading for hell.
Not a genocide, but a reduction
of the useless, the expendable, the old,
far too numerous, too expensive, and costing
the earth to keep alive and keep treating.
Not a good future prediction, but one
that's possible, and becoming more real
with each passing day as economies
falter, and wedges are jammed underneath
to support foundations teetering on the brink
of collapse, threatening an avalanche
to follow as the dominos fall one after
another until there are no more left standing,
Then no one will say ‘all will be well,
as they gaze into the abyss now yawning.
What will be true is a new world is coming.
‘Oh, hell's teeth,' she cried, ‘I'm bored!'
And from a distant room, came
‘Don't blame me.' Ire rose instantly.
‘What has ‘I'm bored' to do with you?'
She demanded, bristling with indignation.
‘It's the tone of voice,' he declared.
‘What!' she replied. ‘I just said ‘I'm bored'.
At no point did I mention you! You feel
guilty clearly otherwise you wouldn't say that.'
‘No, I don't.' Says he. ‘So why say it?'
she demanded. ‘Why should I expect you
to entertain me? I merely said ‘I was bored',
which I am. Nobody's on line, I keep
losing my games, and my iPad's run down,
and it's grey and cold outside, and it's May,
and it should be sunny and mild, so, for now,
I'm bored, and it's got absolutely nothing
to do with you.' ‘All right, but it's the tone
of voice.' ‘Oh, good grief, I can't even
speak now without you feeling guilty
if I moan. The problem is with you, not me.'
And that's how you have a set to for saying
innocently a remark that's true but seen
as an accusation out of the blue. Communication,
even after 43 years, can be fraught with rocks
to founder on, and subject to misinterpretation,
unless, of course, life together is one
long perfect peaceful path with never
a raised voice or word of disagreement.
Not so her and him, they've spent a lifetime
bickering and now it's an art form, honed
to perfection, and both would probably
die of boredom if not present in their particular
institution. But, just occasionally, she wished
he'd not take everything so very personally!
The Tongue of a Woman
The tongue of a woman can be soft and gentle,
it can also be bitter and harsh and, at times, wilful.
It can soothe and becalm and relieve deep tensions,
it can also be scheming and two faced, full of pretensions.
It can be lyrical and wise, and give good advice,
it can also shred and lie, and cut down in a thrice.
It can praise and excite and raise to heights of delight,
it can also nag and criticize and turn day into night.
It can bewitch and endear, and make all things clear,
it can also confuse and bemuse, and strip a veneer.
It can bring peace and harmony, and sing a sweet melody,
it can also rant and rave, and be incredibly moody.
It can be funny and roguish, and a great mood enhancer,
it can also be cruel and nasty, and an ego destroyer.
All of these aspects belong to the feminine tongue,
from the calmest of females to the most high-strung,
but when used to declare love, adoration, loyalty
and passion with truthfulness and not out of duty,
then it makes up for all of its negative aspects
and makes a lover, a friend or a child forget their defects,
making them feel cherished, loved, and respected,
a gift unsurpassed and one that should always be trusted.
The tongue of male can be just the same,
but, mostly, the female is far ahead in the game
for she has, for centuries, used it to survive and win
what she's been deprived of, her freedom, and, therein,
lies the truth of the power of a female's loquacity,
for, without it, she'd still be just a piece of property.
So, beware of underestimating the tongue of a female
it has served us well, but we're not equal yet to the male,
which means, the game is still on, and we've far to go,
but we're on our way, and it's on with the show,
now we've everything to gain and nothing to lose,
except the right to be free and the liberty to choose.
Not a war, but a plan, not for egos, but for balance,
and an equalizing of life's continual game of chance.
The male believes himself free, but, he's not,
not until the female stands by his side and has got
respect and recognition, and a Universal right
across the world to speak out, to vote and to fight
for what she believes in without fear or repression,
then, and only then, will the world find true civilization.
The New World
She reached out to touch the mountains,
puff ball white and grey, and her hand
passed through, she frowned. This is new,
she thought as she stood by her window
gazing out at the blue firmament around.
Then, before her eyes, the sky fell down,
it struck the ground to shatter into shards,
revealing a myriad stars against a blackness
she'd not noticed before, it was a darkness
menacing now as her world began to crumble,
and dwindle into numbers falling like rain
down a drain to reform, but not in a way
she recognized at all. Edifices, strange
and elongated, not made for human habitation,
and flying machines floated effortlessly
through a purple sky nonchalantly
delivering passengers along a skyway,
not human for she could see long limbs
of silver and a rainbow hue rippling through
semi-transparent bodies, quite beautiful,
she thought initially but then knew the world
had changed in a twinkling of an eye,
from one she knew to one completely new.
She looked down at herself and saw,
with a shock, she was changed too.
Now she had a body long and slender,
and was standing in a room she'd never seen
before, looking out at a blue tinged cloud
or were they mountains she wondered
aloud, and was startled at the sound.
Her vocal chords had altered, now clicks
emerged, but seemed to be discernible
to her, and then she turned and saw,
standing behind her, a child like her,
clicking away and, inside her head,
she understood, and, reaching out,
she drew him close, and, pointing,
showed him the puff ball mountains
behind the city's edge, and he, smiling,
held her hand in this pristine new world.
Laid back mellow moods, a melody playing,
creating music in free flow, suiting the mood
on this day when it's raining outside, and cool.
Not seasonal, but nothing is the same anymore
in a world in flux, but music plays still reminding
us that order can come from chaos, and all can
be well if we keep our heads, while all around
are losing theirs. A time for withdrawal, retreat,
reflection on what is, and what can be, if only.
Always ‘if only this or that' but pointless,
‘what is' is all that counts, and the music says
it all. A note here, a note there, changes the mood,
moves it on, alters the exchange, but a wrong note
here, a wrong note there can bring about disorder,
a loss of rhythm, a descent into a cacophony
and the melody is lost, the interchange breaks
down, a reflection of life, our world, full of wrong
notes everywhere. Now, there's a need to find
the right note to restore sanity, drive out chaos,
and bring about changes and fruitful exchanges.
Meanwhile, I listen to laid back mellow music
and reflect on life, the world, and forget the rain
outside, and the grey clouds overhead, tomorrow
we might have sunshine back again, but, if not,
so what, that's life, the future is always open,
never closed, the possibility of the right note
emerging is ever there, as is the chance of the wrong,
But, for now, it's just time to relax, and enjoy
the music masters at play for the rest of this wet day.
Nothing is simple
Shadows in the night can give us a fright,
Light in the day can blind us in its ray,
Ghosts in our mind can be anything but kind,
Memories in our brain can be a pain,
Knowledge in our head can weigh like lead,
Lies on our tongue can get us hung,
Truth in our world sees lies unfurled,
Reality in our mind isn't easy to find,
Pain in our body can drive us potty,
Joy in our heart can sustain every part,
Sadness in our soul can put us in a hole,
Anger in our heart can set us apart,
Compassion in our soul should be our goal,
Freedom in our head is a good path to tread,
Equality in our mind needs to be clearly defined,
Goodness in our heart is a strong rampart,
Evil in our heart is deadly to impart,
Love in our being is the route to co-existing.
Life on this Earth is of incalculable worth.
Time goes faster with age. I get up,
have breakfast, go on my blog,
get dressed, go for the paper if dry,
then have a coffee, back to blogging,
reading mail, thinking, meanwhile,
my husband is, more or less, doing
the same, and then we meet up for lunch,
after which we part, back to the blog,
the Net, maybe a film, listen to music,
blog some more, make comments,
moan about the blog being so slow,
wasting the time I have left now.
I've grown older, not quite actually old,
but definitely older, and I'm not certain
whether time has slowed down or me,
or, I should say, us, for my husband
seems to have slowed down too,
which frustrates me, for, in my head,
I still want to be fast, everything done
now, not in a minute, later, or I'm busy,
can't come now. Not good enough,
I want you now for time has slowed down
and I'm growing older by the minute,
the time wasted is mine, and that makes
me mad. I know, I know it's bad,
should be laid back and cool at my age,
But laid back and cool I'm not, fiery
and furious and I'm more than aware
that's not good for my age, heart attack,
ulcer, high blood pressure can result,
but my brain is in charge, not me,
and slowing down deliberately
is simply not in my vocabulary.
Hmmm...Now we've had lunch,
and our afternoon espresso, which
makes me probably even speedier,
and now it's nearly time for dinner,
which I've already prepared earlier,
and, after that, it's an evening of telly.
Well, some, and then more blogging.
But, sometimes, we do go out and see
the world which even outside moves
too slowly for me...I shall just have
to tell myself every day, slow down,
slow down, slow down, you're moving
too fast. How do I know? Because the
year is almost half way through!
So tell me please, if any of you can,
where in, heaven's name, did the time go?
Mesh of Death
Silvery light in the moon lit night,
life held by a thread, it slipped
and slithered through its watery
home, searching for safety,
for security but finding none.
Like a spirit fighting for life,
holding on to mortal flesh,
it sought a place to hide
from the steel webbed mesh
closing inescapable jaws
around the shoals, and trapping
all in its deathly embrace, a race
to get away, its pod shrieking
loud warnings but observing
its plight with no means
to stop what was happening.
And the mesh closed shut,
and the screams rose as young
and old circled outside and around.
No means now to come up for air,
drowning, the dolphin sent out
a last plaintiff call before it died.
A cruel end for a creature born
to be free, to play, love, swim
in the ocean's wide. An indictment
on humans, but most don't care,
it's work, and profit and laissez faire.
And the pod departed mourning
silently now as they slipped through
their watery home in the silvery light
of this ill fated moon lit night.
The will is unique to all, a gift and a curse,
the freedom to choose for better or worse.
But have we really explored its power,
can it be used collectively as a confounder
or a manipulator of the way things are?
If we will together, can we raise the bar
of possibilities, and change our world,
seeing, before us, the impossible unfurled?
To do this requires an act of faith from all,
for all to emerge from behind the wall
of doubt and disbelief that we, collectively,
have power to change our world impressively.
We are but infants still in our understanding,
so very far away from fully comprehending
what we truly are, and what we can do.
So far, held back by superstition and taboo,
but, one day, will emerge like a butterfly
from its chrysalis, and say goodbye
to the chains that have bound our wills
and discover previously undreamt of skills.
Networks of thought across the earth,
could, one day, bring a long awaited birth,
an age of maturity, where wills combined
to create a new and better humankind.
We weave a protective shell around ourselves.
It begins cobweb thin when we are very small,
then, as we grow, it thickens to a web of steel,
impenetrable to all but who we let in, a closed door
for the many, but an open one for the few, maybe.
Inside we reside within our many rooms, some public,
while others stay tight shut with each of us alone
possessing the key. This room is where we place
all that makes us feel most vulnerable, insecure,
fearful and distrusting, where all the wounds
are kept, the secrets we want to hide, the actions
we would prefer never see the light of day,
and all our broken dreams, failed hopes and
profound regrets, all we think best kept hidden away.
From behind this web of steel, we view our world,
moulding it to our liking, attempting to change
the ugly, the bad, the sad into something beautiful,
good and happy, manipulators are we all of lives,
not asked for but provided, and clothed with
the means to survive, some more than others,
but all try with all their might to make the best
of what they have, but each in their secret room
have things to hide, some so dark demons cower
while others bring smiles to cherubs' eyes
for when the young yield up their lives, no
darkness dwells in their room for they have had
no time to fall or fail, or hurt or wound, but
the long lived are less fortunate by far. Some have
a room bursting at the seams, and yet still more,
have space to fit a huge amount more, but minor
are their secrets if observed, though, to them,
appear to be of great significance and dire and
so keep closed their door to all. And many pass
on, the door never opening to any but themselves.
Perhaps, this is the way of all, or, maybe, only
the mad, the saint or the fool open up their room
to all, then stand back and watch who stays
and who flees when seeing into its darkest depths,
revealing for all the innermost core of their being.
Birth, life, death and, in between, the rest,
a concoction of experiences the mix of which
no one has the recipe, the feast consumed
over seconds, minutes, hours, weeks, months,
years, and always the table fills, never empty,
with meals embracing a multiplicity of tastes, some
specific for the eater, some for general consumption,
not all desired, but the eating is not by choice
but by what time creates, some by a chef of renown,
others by a cook from way down the line, but
all provided to fill a life. Some refine, some
coarsen, some sate, some leave the eater wanting
more, some are so beautiful, they're made to last,
to be relished, ecstatically enjoyed while others
leave a nasty taste, sour and bitter, or rancid
on the palate, and quickly consumed in order
to move on, but more is learned from them
than from the glorious ones for all that is too fine
can harm the life within, remove the inability
to discern the needs of others at the feast
when sumptuous meals are eaten far too often
and the simple ones seem boring and banal,
but better by far for the well being of all.
And so the feast goes on from birth, through life,
and unto death, a table laid for all, some rich,
some poor, some in between, and, sadly, some
barely at all, but all feed from the same table
in the end for there is only one, one source
of nourishment, the earth, while the world
provides experience, the one working in tandem
with the other, only when one in out of balance
with the other does inequality step in, and greed
and power structures destroy the feast for many.
The feast is there for all, but Life, up till now,
has no concept of sharing equally amongst all,
only the feasters can see to that, and, up till now,
inequality reigns supreme, and the table is still
far too bare for many, making birth, life and death
come far too soon at a feast which could, one day,
bring joy, happiness and long life to one and all.
Like a rose glistening with dew
she came to me. Out of the water
she came to stand by me, mute
it seemed for no words she spoke,
but all was said in looks and touch,
and I was bewitched in that brief time,
her slave for ever. As I watched,
she changed from her watery world
to fit in mine, then took my hand
and, in that manner, she led me home.
It was not long before she was my bride,
her beauty and grace spread far wide,
but that the cause of my deepest pain,
for many a man rode by to see her
and became entranced the same as I,
though all the time, I knew her love
for me was true, I still grew jealous
of the attention paid to her for she
was mine. No show piece for the world
to come and see. So I made a key
and, each morn, would lock her in a room,
made beautiful in its décor for I would
not have her suffer. And, in there,
no other man could look upon my wife
in the bright and piercing light of day.
But she knew it was a prison I had made
for her, and, gradually, she began to fade
away, growing sad and tearful, and,
to my horror, I saw when I let her out
each night, that her beauty was going.
Day by day, it grew less and less,
until one night, I saw before me a crone,
and knew I had been bewitched, for she
could only keep her loveliness and grace
when observed by men imprinting
upon her their deep desires to behold
the perfect woman, and she, with no choice,
fulfilled their each and every whim,
including mine. With deepest grief,
I let her out and threw away the key,
but too late, I had seen her as she now was,
and could no more create the beauty
I saw when first I laid eyes upon her.
Still with no word uttered, she took my arm
and, I tortured through and through
with guilt for what I had brought about
took her back to the water, and standing
on its edge, I watched her walk into its depths
and, as she did, I saw once more her
like a rose glistening in the dew and
knew how much I'd lost, and wept salt tears
into the lake that took my love away
through my jealousy, and inability to see
the gift, without cost, she had given to me.
By the garden wall
Standing by the gate stick thin
looking like her bones might break,
she said she'd fight it, wasn't going
to give in, but she looked so fragile,
I wondered then whether it or she
would win. Now, today, I've heard,
it won, and now she's gone, a kind
sweet soul, always slim, couldn't eat
much at all, but always had a smile
for us when we passed by, most often
finding her on her knees planting
flowers, tending her garden with
infinite patience and endless care,
and the lawn was always weed free
and lushly green, and that was the front,
out the back was three times the size
and tended with equal loving care.
We won't see that smiling face again,
but won't forget her, ingrained
in our memories as unforgettable,
just the same as the lovely man
a few doors along who died before her,
last year, another with courage
not seen before, and a cheerfulness
to match, and only once or twice
a small chink appeared when he grew
weary of operations to repair the damage
knowing it would return again and again,
and he was in such terrible pain,
but never once moaned or complained.
These two precious people lit up
the world with their presence and,
now, live on in our memories as lights
to push the shadows away, and remind
us that all things can be borne with
dignity and courage, and cheerful smiles.
If there is a beyond, may they walk
in peace and joy forever and know
they enriched us all, for both of them
stood by their walls stick thin
looking as if their bones might break,
but never gave in to the pain within,
and spoke to us with laughter and smiles.
They'll both be missed but dearly loved
for what they gave out was real Love.
I missed her…again.
I caught her perfume on the air,
a sweet fragrance of jasmine,
light and tantalizing like her.
I stood breathing it in, missing
her, her body next to mine,
her face saying so much without
words. She had been here, and
I missed her…again. I always
seem two steps behind, does
she know how much I long to see
her again, to hold her close,
to tell her she means the world
to me, but the room is empty.
She's gone and I've missed her
… again. Am I dreaming? Do I
imagine the perfume? How can I
catch the sweet fragrance when
I know she's gone, and she isn't
coming back. Lost to me forever,
that love of my life, a precious
gift I once held in my arms and
kissed with tenderness then passion
as we became one body, a union
of love then parted to lie holding
each other, talking softly, laughing,
all this gone now, and my heart
breaks for she was here but now
she's gone and I missed her… again.
One day, I'll catch up with her,
but, for now, I'll keep looking,
remembering and hoping I'll
meet up with her one day… soon.
Sweet music drifts from the speakers
while rain pours down outside, drops
adorning the windows with translucent
pearls. A sense of peace wafts
around the house on a Spring day
when grey has coloured the sky
from dawn to dusk, and a dismal
air of unseasonal gloom makes
drear what should be days of good cheer.
A blustery wind makes sport with trees,
bending them to and fro like a magician's
wand as it gusts through branches
now garbed in new leaves, a rough
welcome for the new born, and flowers
cling to petals newly formed, folding
in upon themselves as the rain and wind
cavort in a wild dance as April cedes
to May and all look towards it for sun,
soft breezes and burgeoning flora
in all its fecund glory. A strange air
of uncertainty pervades the months,
as rains fail, creating a widespread drought,
then fall in a cascade from leaden skies
on parched earth to bring about floods,
and storms disrupt the peace with
lightning and thunder rolls rippling
across dark burdened skies of black,
grey and purple clouds, and, all the time,
the music plays sweet melodies to calm
troubled spirits and ease the soul,
safe inside for now, out of the wind
and rain, a quiet sanctuary from
the outside world where turmoil reigns,
and chaos sits hovering ever watchful
for a crack in the order to appear,
and the only thing restraining it
are minds holding fast to peace,
to justice, and to the well being of all.
A Flash of Inspiration
The brain processes like a machine,
neurons firing, networks linking,
thoughts forming, ideas emanating,
memories storing, emotions colouring,
language interpreting, sight clarifying,
hearing discerning, producing a single
entity, a mind. Not separate but integral,
emerging from the activities of matter
to create a consciousness, an awareness
of the self, the being who is performing
actions that can observe it working,
making decisions, imposing prohibitions,
removing inhibitions, reaching solutions,
questioning past teaching, finding new ways
of doing, thinking, creating, forming
different paths to past dilemmas.
Learning the differences between chemical
responses and genuine emotions,
concluding love has meaning, not simply
a bonding through compatible chemical
reactions, discerning the beautiful
from the ugly, seeking what lies beneath
the surface, not accepting face values,
and all the time, the brain is processing
like a machine, its neurons firing,
networks linking to bring about the new,
a mind like no other, unique for good
or bad, or in between, like most, grey
is predominant but coloured brilliant
at times with sudden flashes of inspiration,
sufficient to turn a world upside down
as a mind seeks to adapt to what
it has learned, or seen, in a still moment
when the brain linked with something other
and the light of comprehension flooded in,
mind and brain integral in their unity,
and wondrous in their capacity to
reach out and touch the core of being
with the exercise of the magical imagination.
The Universe is Silent
The Universe is silent, no sound
penetrates its firmament from here
to its furthest edge, silence reigns
supreme. The Earth though vibrates
with noise, from soundless to the ear
of humans to the thunderous roar
of erupting lava, the shifting plates
and, over all, the radio waves drift
ever onward into space, silent signals
of life existing here, registering
our presence for any to hear out there
in the silent Universe of galaxies
and nurseries for stars, and space,
a vacuum filled with debris and dust,
asteroid fields all going round silently,
hard to grasp that no sound is heard
in all of space. Images in movies
of wars in space with loud explosions
are fictitious, a deadly silence
would encompass all such conflicts,
but not here. Here, the sound of war
deafens all, spreading fear and death,
not silently, but obscene in its loudness,
each bomb registering decibels of sound,
but, out in space, nothing can be heard
of humans when they fight, just flashes
of light blinking on and off, on and off,
and the wails of the wounded and cries
of anguish for the dead, all lost in Space.
Does anybody, or any being, hear us
in the silent Universe, or are we alone
making noise, loud and penetrating,
to proclaim our presence just in case
there's Life out there, somewhere,
anywhere, to tell us we're not alone
in the vast reaches of silent Space?
Oh, I can't eat that, said the wafer thin girl,
turning away from the sumptuous cake,
and please don't offer me steak, I'll throw up
at the mention of meat, I eat fruit and veg,
and maybe an egg, but fish scares me stiff,
I might swallow a bone, so steer clear
of all types, maybe the occasional prawn,
but I suspect I might be allergic to them
as I had a rash after eating one in a meal.
It's very hard, she sighed, trying to stay slim.
If I put on an ounce, I could lose my job,
the cat walk's a tigerish place and there's
a whole load of girls all fighting for work,
and my career won't last very long I know,
but, while I'm on top, I'll stay wafer thin,
and hope that when I retire, in max five years,
my body will recover from a diet lasting
for most of my life, and I'll have the energy
to eat that sumptuous cake, and expand
my intake from fruit and veg, the odd slice
of bread, but mostly crispbread, to being
able to eat a normal meal at least once a week.
What's that you say, she said, her eyes large
and dewy, don't be silly dieting won't kill me,
I mean, look at us all, we're not dead, just
being what the designers desire. Homogenous
beings, you say, sorry, don't know what
that means. Oh, well, I'm still a woman,
and that's a bit cheeky, but no, I haven't
had a period in years. Can't waste a week
on that. No worries, they'll come back
when I retire, she said, and, turning, walked
off down the cat walk, her white painted face
catching the light, alongside her bones.
It's the day of the zombies, sad but too right.
How truly strange is Life
Sometimes, when all is still around you,
you realize how truly strange is Life.
There seems no rhyme or reason why
the random events which occurred
should have happened the way they did.
But they did, and now you're here.
The journey travelled full of memories,
some good, some bad, some buried
in a fog, unclear now, and none to clarify
them for you, so they remain indistinct,
frustrating and leave you wondering
if they took place at all, or did you dream
them up, cover them in forgetfulness
and leave them there to gather dust.
Who knows, and, if not you, then no one
for they're inside your head and in
no other's. When half asleep, between
the waking and the sleeping, memories
stir of long forgotten incidents, and then
take on a life of their own. Like a movie
playing in your head, scenarios emerge,
bizarre, mixed up, and not very good,
and you observe emotions stirred but
not shaken to realize they're fantasies,
and must ask yourself, how much of Life
is reveries and how much is real, a quandary
now valid in the asking with knowledge
expanding on the complexity of existing
at all, and whether any of us are even
here at all. For now, when all around is still,
you accept how truly strange is Life,
but hold on to the hope that part of it,
at least, is real, otherwise you can't see
any point at all to Lives created in the moment
then are gone, a mystery indeed, but one
that makes it exhilarating and fascinating
trying to discern whether you're just a fiction
or whether you are solid and real. Something
you'll ponder upon until the day you die
for those given to deep thought and reflection
on the questions of how, what, where and why.
When I arrived they broke the mould,
or so I have been told,
not so good I discovered because
generally left out in the cold.
To be embraced you must be the same
in appearance if not in name,
not so good I discovered because
somewhat deformed which was a shame.
A strange world to inhabit on the outside,
a situation constantly applied,
not so good I discovered because
I soon found out what it implied.
I could stand and beat upon the door,
but it remained closed for sure,
not so good I discovered because
a dilemma I learned to abhor.
But, over time, advantages began to grow,
I learned to see through the window,
that was good I discovered because
a view not seen by many was on show.
So the mould is broken, as I've been told,
that's fine for a hidden world I now behold,
that was good I discovered because
it shines a light on secrets yet untold.
The door will always be only half ajar,
if not closed, which can seem quite bizarre,
but that is good I discovered because
what's inside is far better seen from afar.
There is a song sung in the silence of the heart,
born of tears of sorrow, a lament, deeply felt,
bearing witness to barbarity not imagined,
or envisaged, but carried out on creatures,
helpless in their capacity to ward off torture,
abuse or mindless cruelty. Inflicted at the hands
of humans, cold of heart, with no empathy
ingrained, no thought that what they do wounds
at a level not perceived by these dead souls,
but heard by those who hear within the silence
the cries of creatures everywhere, in whom cruelty
is not known, innocent of any crime, victims
of the predatory needs of humankind. Ignorance
makes of some monsters, and in their blindness
progress dies, stymied by these perpetrators,
but does not stop there. For, while some torture
creatures, still others turn on their own, and
the lament goes on, reaching to the ends
of the Universe, a wail of pain, of distress,
unparalleled in creation as the tortured, abused
or subjects of mindless cruelty cry out for justice,
to be heard, but life goes on for the many, the lament
falling on the deaf ears of most of humankind,
but, until it's heard, no real progress will come to pass,
and none will find true peace of heart and mind.
There is a Scrat in all humans,
holding on for dear life to that
which is most precious to them,
but forever in danger of losing it,
dropping it, putting it down
for a second or two and finding
it gone after they turned their back
for a moment, so the majority
cling to it with a tenacity akin
to a limpet's clasp of its rock
upon which it relies to keep
it in place, and to save it from
being buffeted by the currents
and swept away to unknown shores.
A strange fixation on a precious
thing around which all hopes
and dreams exist, and awareness
of its loss spells disaster, pain
and ruination. The lot of humans
it seems is to each hold onto
one precious thing and, like
a treasure store, carry it around
through lives lived sustained
by its presence. The essence
of it being a crutch to get them
through the daily grind, the ups
and downs of life, and the trials
and tribulations unavoidable
in the lives of one and all.
To each Scrat, the precious thing
is different, but some are like
another, and these gather together,
safety in numbers being the rule,
or so it seems, but one thing
they forget, if the precious things
lose their efficacy, and die away,
all the gathered will be filled
with horror and dismay. Seeking
another to fill the space is hard
when lives become reliant on
a precious thing and it disappears
to leave them bereft. A Scrat
utterance emanates from one and
all, sounding like despair and
anguish and will continue until
a new precious thing is found
and they are happy and secure
once more. Oh, how strange
is human life reflected in a cartoon
character, a stroke of genius
with a pen and brought to life
in film depicting the lot of humans
in one lovable prehistoric squirrel.
Feet tapping, heart beating, a rhythmic
response to music, down through the ages
dance moved bodies, gyrating, twirling,
stamping, a primal urge to react to the sound
of drums, strings, and whatever instruments
can make music sing. In the jungles,
amidst the songs of the creatures, birds,
and the wind in leaves, human voices
joined the choir, and feet stamped the ground
in unison as the tom tom drums beat out
the rhythm. Energy released in elation
as the sounds penetrated inward capturing
the pathways of the brain and sending
messages to bodies sensing the impulse
to move in sensual, passionate, ritualistic
motion. Eons later, in cities, bodies
still dance in clubs, discos and parties
to the call of music, and the sense
of unity evoked when many move together
as one, and so it has gone on, and will
continue so long as music is here and bodies
respond to the primitive instincts ingrained
in the brain, when little but skins on gourds
and the human voice was around, the need
to dance is here to stay across the earth,
so long as there are open spaces and ground
to perform upon the beat goes on, and on, and on…
Speak to me of sounds divine,
soaring through the heavens
on trains of silvered wings
drifting through my mind.
Lifting me from the humdrum
into the magic of the imagination.
Dragons whirling in magenta clouds
flashing humming bird fluorescence
as they twist and turn, dancing
for the deities of old, shamanic
rituals to create order out of chaos
more in tune with natural life,
pagan but powerful still in reality,
though buried in the annals of time
by deities carrying thoughts
and minds out of time and space
to place them in heavenly spheres,
for escape is the desire of all.
An invitation to some divine meal
and ball where the soul can dance
for eternity in blissful ecstasy,
but, for some, that idea portrays
static joy, for joy unending has no
meaning without the opposite
present too, balance is everything.
And the phone rings, breaking in,
an automated call inquiring whether
my connection to the virtual world
is still broken and do I still need
a visit from the engineer, press one
on your phone if you still need
a visit, and I hesitate momentarily,
then press one and put the phone down.
And back to my reveries again,
carrying me away from the humdrum
and into the surreal and wondrous
place of space, stars, galaxies,
and distances unimaginably vast,
And me a pin prick in the space
continuum, but with a mind almost
infinite in its awesome imagination.
The Fogs of Time
And tolls the distant bell, pealing
a warning, an alarm call for the sleepers
whose ears are deaf, whose eyes are blind,
and sense not what is coming through
the fogs of Time. A time of suppression,
oppression and a doing away with
the rights of Man as wheels are set
in motion, and change is coming,
when democratic ways fail in the light
of an oncoming storm of behind
the scenes control. A time for sleepers
to awake and know the call to rebellion
is here. Oppose what will remove
freedoms hard won over centuries
of fighting, wars, revolution when millions
laid down their lives for the right
to be free, and now it's threatened
in a way not seen before. The ability
to communicate across the globe,
no matter how inane the sharing,
how fatuous the content, how angry
the people, all proclaim the right
to share without limitations, without
restrictions by governments not voted
in by the majority, by shady people
defining threats, imaginary or real,
and declaring the time is here to suppress
the freedom to communicate by spying
on all, creating means to snoop on all.
the threat declared is not true, the threat
is to those in control, governments
fearing their people with the freedom
to express their anger, to criticize,
to expose corruption, double dealing,
and the countless ways politicians
and the bankers find loop holes
in the law to exploit the people.
Trust has gone, the dream of democracy
for all turned sour as the people
turn away, disillusioned and in disgust,
for empty words spill from mouths
now given to promises impossible to fulfil,
and rhetoric written for them by others
intent only in sound bites and cant.
So awake you sleepers, open your ears,
your eyes and see what is coming
through the fogs of Time before it is too late.
Take a chance, nothing comes for free,
everything worth having has risk attached.
Come fly away from closed minds
open up and let the trapped spirit
soar. So long encased in deadening
dross, coating freedom with something
called conformity, impressed on all
from infancy. The right way to be,
don't stand out from the crowd, walk
in the footsteps of those before, tread
not on new paths for they are full
of perils, hidden snares, conserve
the past in aspic, each generation's
inheritance, a stifling mix of old
with what passes as new, but is only
the old clothed in different garb,
created to deceive, to keep the status
quo in tact, made to measure is the way,
don't break rules made to protect,
but, in reality, remove freedom to be,
to grow, to aspire. Only within limitations
can humans grow, like plants in pots,
their roots curtailed, and reliant on
food and water instead of growing
where they can stretch their roots,
take what Nature offers as sustenance,
but few take a chance, aware nothing
comes for free, the risk too much to bear,
and so most stay trapped in closed minds,
neither living nor dead, but caught
in a Limbo made for them, drowning
it out with drink, drugs or some other
distraction, a quiet desperation invading
worlds where roots cannot grow free
and sustenance is meagre, the minimum
but just enough to keep the minds alive
for they are needed to keep a system
functioning, so conformity is obligatory
in a system organized by a few who
see profit as the be all and end all.
And all who are profitless are expendable
in this scheme of things, and nobody
has the know how anymore to find a way
of breaking out of the prison built
over centuries to bring about the best
possible world for all, achieved only by
everybody accepting blind conformity,
but few knew the cost was freedom
for the vast majority of humans, a price
now being paid daily as the god of profit
gains in ascendancy, and the whole world
gathers around on bended knee to worship
at the altars in the mighty temples of
Master Money and Mistress Mammon.
Waltzing in dreams, feet off the ground
as I whirl round and round, ecstatic
with delight and alive with exhilaration,
a reverie of desire, for dancing is my joy,
not to be in reality sadly for such activity
requires an element of flexibility
and bodily agility I cannot have, except
in dreams where I can dance with abandon
no restrictions limiting me, and come
to rest my desires sated. The dancer
unseen who held me tight, and moved
me with grace and dexterity through
my reverie, is hidden always in mystery,
and I know not whether he is real
or just a perfect partner drawn from
my imagination to dance with me in magical
synchronization, and bringing me to
a peak of elation as we swirl and twirl
in star sparkling ballrooms somewhere
never visited before, but as real as
all around me is right now. How strange
are dreams that seem so real as I waltz
with my partner in such joyful reveries.
Rain falling on the roof, pitter patter,
a sound recalling pagodas, rocks
and raked sand, contemplation
of cherry blossom and temples
of ancient times in a land far away,
one I'll never see but one alive
within my mind as an ideal of beauty.
Voices speaking in the distance, sounding
close now but with indecipherable words
emanating from a world not mine.
A train travelling through the countryside,
carrying travellers to their destination.
Rhythmic sounds gathering speed
recalling a time of exploration.
Excitement and trepidation combine
a moment of exhilaration on arrival,
expectation high, signing in and seeing
for the first time where I'm staying
for a holiday, fine or tolerable,
no matter, make the best of what I've got,
and unpack quickly and go out full
of curiosity to see something new.
The rain on the roof evokes desire,
knowing the evocations will only be seen
in images not in the flesh, but the train
travel is real, taking me to another place,
full of mystery, history and, sometimes,
regret I stepped on this alien soil at all.
But, mostly, it's a thrill to walk streets
never trod by me before, a privilege too.
And it's back to the pitter patter of rain
falling on the conservatory roof today,
not a sound I generally enjoy but the music
in my ears paints pictures in my mind
to take me on journeys, never travelled,
and time disappears when my imagination
soars. A virtual holiday created by the rain
as it falls pitter pattering from a leaden sky.
A silent world now, communication broken,
a link with the outside world severed
and all is quiet, no input, no output.
In this still world something has awoken.
A turning in to find resources left unused
for far too long, cut off from distractions,
empty chatter, the desire to be acknowledged,
to entertain, to be needed and amused.
Now to sit in peaceful reflection, no tension,
a time for reading, creating, living,
not in a virtual world, but in the real,
no need now for ostentation or pretension.
A place not sought for long in these times,
the real, with links like tentacles attached
to fingers moving snakelike over keys
to reach out, express feelings in rhymes.
The wait for reactions, expectations high
often met with regret when barely read,
and it would be a lie to say it didn't matter,
stirs emotions of rejection, disappointment,
a sense of being invisible probably inbred.
But, when in deeper discernment, realizing
these feelings are mostly superficial,
not ingrained sufficiently to cause much pain,
and certainly not worthy of much analyzing.
So, in a silent world now, communication broken,
thoughts are gathered, calmness settles
over a mind given too much to retrospection,
lets go now and pays heed to what has awoken.
An understanding of the cost of communication,
of letting the world inside with no barriers
erected, of passively receptive to all incoming
views, ideas and pain in this virtual connection.
And yet the prospect of being cut off forever,
the severing of friendships, the broad scope
of knowledge at finger tips, and entertainment,
makes the virtual world quite like no other.
And so this break, though brief, is beneficial
for it gives a breathing space to consider
what is of true value in this chaotic world
and see clearly what is real and what is superficial.