Window

December 5, 2016 at 11:33 am (England, history, philosophy, Poems, Stories) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

At the window in my front room
I watched umbrellas go up the hill
struggling in furious autumn gale
most black, some red or comically transparent
pulled down upon a woman’s shoulders
to protect her new hairdo from the rain.

The Georgian bay window shielded me from rain.
I loved to be alone. That cold front room
with long net curtains wrapped around young shoulders
and the weather beating, shining or racing down the hill
was my castle; huge windows on a world transparent,
sheltered from the furious autumn gale.

Round I whirled, a leaf dancing in the gale,
moving faster and higher, inspired by the rain.
The net meant giant windows were transparent
only from the inside, so to a clunky sale room
gramophone weighted with pennies, I was me on that hill,
before the world could press upon my shoulders.

I smelled the musty net around my shoulders
and knew the world was old and furious, though its gale
and torrential outpouring never rested on our hill,
forming pools in parks where tourists pulled on rain-
coats and stirred coffee with plastic spoons, in a room
where an organ played and people’s smiles were transparent.

When my cousin came, we served homemade sweets on transparent
plates and put on a show. On young shoulders
responsibility for choreography and costume. Front room
filled with patient eyes, we would anxiously regale
our aunties, mums and Nanna with entertainment, rain
dancing in accord, outside, thunder clapping on the hill.

Of course, I grew up, and went out from the hill,
down into murky valleys, away from transparent
umbrellas, aunties and sticky sweets, out into rain
that seemed more inhospitable when it landed on shoulders
bent and bowed with the weight of life’s gale.
But part of me will always dance in that front room.

Meet me on the hill, put a scarf around my shoulders,
transparent rivulets in a furious autumn gale,
blessed by rain, with no umbrella, let us dance in my front room.

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Rear view

May 13, 2016 at 9:09 am (philosophy, Poems, poetry) (, , , )

Facing backwards on the train

to see the place I’ve been, again,

to meet the people facing me

whose eyes reflect what I can’t see.

 

The world behind is a surprise

that meets my back before my eyes,

and if I never turn around

I’ll never know what I have found.

 

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Too Late

February 6, 2016 at 6:50 pm (philosophy, Poems) ()

It was too late to say that he loved her,
Too late to say the unsaid,
Too late to put his arm round her,
Too late, since she was long dead.

The wick of a life isn’t license
to hope for some miracle cure
for dilemmas and bad situations
that lurk behind eyelids and doors.

The saying best later than never,
is a get out he could not append,
when he turned up just after the funeral –
love’s candle snuffed out at the end.

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Bird

November 16, 2014 at 1:11 am (philosophy, sociology, Stories) (, , , )

In the rubble of a bombsite cries a man who is afraid;
his young wife and child went missing when the bird fell from the sky;
and his neighbours come a-running from the homes that can’t be saved.

This man is digging with his fingers for the little girl he made,
desperation in his shouting that the bird took her away.
In the rubble of a bombsite cries a man who is afraid.

There are tears across his country, but the grit is in his eye.
He is calling for his baby, but his throat is raw and dry;
and his neighbours come a-running from the lives that can’t be saved.

So many lonely people left by loved ones swept away,
by the restless wings of predators who fall upon their prey.
In the rubble of a bombsite cries a man who is afraid,

but who falls upon the ground to dig his future from its grave;
and a miracle is lifted and is held up to the sky,
and his neighbours come a-running to a life that can be saved.

And a cursing and a wailing fill the hole that has been made
by intangible corruption in the shape of many graves.
In the rubble of a bombsite cries a man who is afraid;
and his neighbours wipe the rubble from the tiny life they saved.

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Hindsight

November 5, 2014 at 10:11 pm (philosophy) (, , , )

Reaching back in time,
to sift coincidences
for destiny’s signs.

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Trick

October 14, 2014 at 10:49 pm (philosophy) (, , , )

At those low light times
when we unwittingly gamble
against the steady hands of
painstaking gain-makers,
one-eyed Jack can seem to deal
more savvy and shrewd than us.

But, in the long game,
feigning deep vein confidence,
whilst clutching sorry cards
to our most heavy chest,
may serve well enough,
and even bluff the blinkered odds
of the serious strategist.

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Listen

October 5, 2014 at 11:15 am (philosophy) (, , , , )

Listen to the trees
those moon brushed philosophers
in contemplation

Carpe Diem Haiku Kai

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Spider

October 5, 2014 at 10:53 am (philosophy, Stories) (, , , , , , )

I wonder whether or not the spider is still there, outside the village toilets on the grass. He had an unfortunate experience, suffering badly at my hand. Public conveniences must be cleaned, and I am that person in the gloves. I had thought to rescue, plucked him, wrapped in a cloth, from the toilet bowl. He had sat upon the water, I presumed in peril. So, as I say, I picked him out. He moved so fast I lost him from the cloth, and there he was, that sizable arachnid, by the wall, in full health, so it seemed. Again, my over zealous heart piped that he would be best abroad, outside in the undergrowth – we live in a pretty place, in the hills. I stooped again, with said cloth, and captured him for a second time. And in his haste and mine let go and flung him in the grass. But now the woe, for though released, he did not run, he did not move.

Stop, in fear my heart did stop. I had taken a life. Now, I do not claim any particular goodness. No, I feel anger at wasps and even some people. But spider had caused no upset, and I had behaved in error.

I hung about, with no more work to do. I would wait a while and then go back, back to the spot where he sat, legs curled up, half the beast he had been before, before I killed him.

And then something else – his eight legs straightened. His still corpse (perhaps half an hour had passed) began to live again. Though still remorseful, I was overjoyed. I inquired as to his health, in humblest tones, then backed off, fearing my own ability to clumsily tread. With many backward look, best walk away.

One more thing. Spider said this to me. You need to slow your pace. You need not think so hard. You need to be still, take time to recover. Do not respond to everyone’s emergencies (periodically, turn off your phone). And if you can do this, you will be well. If you can do this, you will not die so soon.

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Erroneous

September 30, 2014 at 7:19 pm (history, philosophy) (, )

Misunderstanding:
I ate the apple, not Eve.
So delicious.

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In our midst

September 27, 2014 at 10:09 am (philosophy, sociology) (, , , , )

These elfin must, you say, be kept in check,
be weakened by the wiles you litter round,
for in full strength they’d melt your measly words
and cease your constant wars and mongering.

In market halls, in places you forgot,
they work their wisdom calm and quietly,
and people who are tired by what you do
arrive for salve and kind solicitude.

These elfin, simply people who don’t bow
to fear and hate and spin, will tarry long,
and when you send your twisted stooges in,
be unapparent, veiled, but ever strong.

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