Raven In The Snow

Raven In The Snow

Raven in the snow
knows what to do, where to go,
grips a diamond in its claw,
in its nest shines one more.
World not weird, no riddle,
for those with wings,
but plain, simple as jigs
scratched on the strings of a fiddle.
Worth to watch white wolf
hunt by way of the wind
that carries more than scent
and sting of ice wherever it blows.
Sad to question the vole,
blind to that it’s born
to be hunted and eaten
by winged and four legged foes,
while red fox sniffs the sludge
on the edge of the lake,
and grey owl swoops down from the trees,
glides over the forest floor
winter has locked and hidden the keys.

Winter Without, Within

Winter Without, Within

Winter without my walls
made me feel winter within.
So severe the cold, the hollowness
I was alarmed to consider
this desolation sin.
Winter without is natural
but not winter within.
A carol from a choir
stung my eyes, peeled back the skin,
till I felt the thaw begin.
It re-lit my lamp,
cleansed me from winter within.

World must accept winter without,
but not winter within.
Peel back the skin,
let the thaw begin.
Relight the lamp,
to be saved from winter within.

Endure winter without, within.
Do not forget a thing.
You know what comes after.
Spring.

Ways To Deal With Winter

Ways To Deal With Winter

Hedgehogs are sensible about winter, they hibernate.
In spring they roll on the grass and mate.
In summer they run from garden to garden,
sniff soil for fat grubs to eat.
In summer they feel the earth harden,
and each crinkly, rotten leaf
tells them that the long sleep through winter is near,
the year complete.

Dinosaurs do not have to deal with winter.
Being extinct, lost in the mist,
for them it does not exist.

Penguins cope well with winter.
They live in a polar place of unbroken ice.
Below zero snow to them is nice.

Camels sniff at the thought of winter.
Being desert dwellers, it does not take them
down in the dumps.
It matters not to them one or two humps.

Humans endure winter as best they can.
They eat hot soup and porridge,
regret they have no need for a cooling fan.

Ostriches do not understand winter,
wonder why any season would make itself
so drear and cold.
They prefer summer, bright and bold.

Robins are popular in winter,
sat on bare, snowy twigs
on Christmas cards and cakes.
What the festive season gives to them
is far more than it takes.

Ghosts feel at home in winter.
They are mournful all year round.
Whales could not care a fin about winter
whithersoever they’re bound.

 

 

 

The Wreck of the Royal Iris

The Wreck of the Royal Iris

Alas, the Royal Iris, the old ferry boat’s gone.
A seagull’s cry shears the sky.
Something to sadden a sailor
or anyone, like me, who remembers a time long gone by.
They left it to rot, down south,
on the banks of the Thames,
to lean to one side, a relic
Charles Dickens might have lifted his pen
to take as one of his chance inspirations
for some descriptive work,
maybe in Great Expectations.

The wreck of the Royal Iris,
they left to shadow and dust,
ink black, burnt brown bread,
dark orange yellow rust
that ate its engine and crust.
Cold air they let bend back its hull,
allowed jagged edged holes to appear,
left its ropes to mould with no strength to pull.
I studied its newspaper photograph,
smiled in my mind,
to remember a time, simpler, more kind.
When I was a schoolboy and I stood on the shore,
among seaweed and shells,
and I watched the Royal Iris go,
cut its way through the grey Irish Sea,
out from Liverpool Bay.
Not one of the big ships, not that impressive to see,
but magical, lit up with lights,
as the sun dipped in the west,
and I had all my life before me.
In ways, that time was the best.

The Cry

The Cry

( Lines inspired by a fragment from The City of the Scorpion, being Chapter 45 of my book, Angel War. )

If born with no flaw
would we live forever more?
I was stopped on my walk.
My soul yearned to be saved from solitude.
Though I could speak, I would seldom talk.
Looked over a brown wooden fence,
down on a school playing field.
Above a far trench, I heard a cry,
higher than the cry of sea birds.
A tear broke through my eye,
for in the cry I heard words.
Not made by my mind,
they came from outside.
We’re sorry now. We’re sorry now. We’re sorry now.
They were the words I heard, it seemed to me.
They hurt my heart, disturbed my soul.
Closest to a seagull’s cry, it was to my ears,
one blown far from its flock,
away from the cliffs of the coast
by the wind of a storm.
Lost above the middle ocean waste,
it pined to be on the flight path to its nest.
We’re sorry now. We’re sorry now. We’re sorry now.
From the sky, the cry came again,
now like the cry of a child who fled from a fire.
We do not yearn to go.
We do not pine to leave.
Why should we want to go
when paradise is our home?
Here we came with our angel kin.
From our Honeycomb Mountain home we flew.
With gnarled edged swords, we fought against our great betrayer.
We went too far down,
as our elders told us not to do.
We went too far down,
but we had to see.
We dug a hole,
so we could see.
We went too far down but we found a ledge.
And we were brave. We looked down.
We had to see
the Citadel in Michael’s scarlet flame,
after we had fought so long
against our ancient foe we do not name.
We were stranded, afraid to be slain,
but we found a way and up we flew.
We’re sorry now. We’re sorry now. We’re sorry now.
There is a way. There is a way. There is a way.
We’re sorry now. We want to be free.
We’re sorry now. We’re sorry now. We’re sorry now.

Down in December

Down in December

Down in December, the ground cold and hard,
alone at the table, the gambler plays his final card,
stands up, looks out the window,
nothing there but a black blur of distant trees.
His hand in his damp pocket, he fiddles for his keys.
Finds them, goes out, drives away in his car.
Only he knows where his home is and how far.

The worst rain he could remember
pelted on his windowpane,
took in the confusion from his newspaper,
the war between the unhinged and the sane.
He watched a documentary
on his upper eyelid screen,
the witness not the director,
had no control over any scene.

If youth is wasted on the young, he thought,
age is wasted on the old.
In all the songs that have been sung
not every truth is told.
He could work in a diamond mine
but not get much pay.
Precious stones may glint and shine
but they are hid away.
No, they are not for you,
he warned his fellows in his mind,
but the owners you never see.
Do not wonder why no one rebels,
you know there is no place to be free.
He had played croquet on summer lawns,
skied down winter slopes.
He never lost interest in the world
but never really learned the ropes.