Isle of Apples

Isle of Apples

The Round Table is broken,
to divide this green island, Britain.
Now I must obey the last words of Merlyn.
Take Excalibur, the sword of Arthur,
that I alone could draw from the stone,
down to the edge of yonder mere,
Sir Bedivere, and throw it out on the water,
as far as your strength can,
to be your last deed for me,
as my faithful knight, a true courageous man.
Prepare in your grief to see a wonder,
as the Lady of Faerie takes my sword
away to her land.
Mordred is dead who came against me,
to take my crown and throne.
He lies with pale skin and empty hand
in the mud of the battlefield,
among crows and his abandoned shield,
like all betrayers he died unloved, alone.
My ideal I made real, if only for a short time.
That it came to ruin hurts me more than my wounds.
Look, the black barge comes towards me through the mist,
to take me to Avalon.
On the Isle of Apples may I be healed.
The dragon under the mountain was woken,
but now rain sweeps over the burnt field.
We who achieved the Grail will not be forgotten.

Remember My Rocking Horse

Remember My Rocking Horse

Clean the centre stone,
turn the water wheel,
go down to the bone,
till you see what’s real.

Remember my rocking horse,
white with black patches,
dark moss green saddle.
One November night,
I watched it burn on a bonfire.
Could not save it from the flames,
my face pale and grey with smoke.
Rip raps banged, Catherine wheels spun,
a sparkler crackled and sprayed silver in my hand.
Something was over, I knew.
Later, I came to understand.

One nursery rhyme,
one brief lullaby,
to sleep through night time,
rest your mind and eye.

Remember my rocking horse,
only I know how my story goes.
I galloped over green fields,
far from the lines of my foes.

Broken Barricades

Broken Barricades

What you are forgetting
it is I who hold the key.
The whale swims under ice.
Like him I lift my head,
to break free and scan the sea.

Life can be upsetting
when you really try to live,
not always neat and nice,
through broken barricades,
I race to what I can give.

I am beginning to see what it all could mean,
my vision clear and clean.
In the midst of the muddle,
I turn my wheel,
feel fresh grass beneath my heel.

Never rained so much before,
but perhaps it did.
Never seen so much water,
running down the gutters to the grid.
Wonderful things revealed long hid.

Robin Hood has nowhere to hide now,
said a passing neighbour with a smile,
her comment on the metal box I stacked
with rotten wood and twigs outside my house.
And yes, she is right, I thought, for the oaks have dwindled,
deer herds that remain roam in private parks,
and over what is left of the wild.
And the waves and the rain still lash the ark
I first heard of as a child.

Jungle Vision

Jungle Vision

Panther black jungle night.
Monkeys screech,
parrots squawk in fright.
Muddy brown river,
lethal as a viper bite.
I paddle through in my canoe,
watch white birds lift from a lake,
fly over trees in green tropic light.
I climb a bamboo ladder
in the summer heat,
blink away my vision,
feel my feet in my suburban street.
And the lion yawns,
safely in the shade,
far from the hunter’s guns,
and the cheetah runs
over the grassy plain,
though faraway,
I feel the thud of paws,
the freedom in my brain.
And the sky scrapers rise,
high above my head,
and I look around
to see if I am where
my directions led.
The taxi horns
louder than a trumpet blare.
I am not really there,
I am here.
I am not really here,
I am elsewhere.
I am not really there,
though only partly here,
for I am elsewhere.
Helicopter blades
cut through the air,
and the lines of waves
take me further out,
but I am not there,
I am really here,
yet I am elsewhere.