Painting by Kathryn Carlyle
Poem by Philip Dodd for Six Best Poets Project
Carve canyons, waves,
towers, bridges, palace gardens,
bearded gods in their forms,
ever building, dispersing.
For the mind demands pattern,
likes a good yarn, a fine tale.
Now to this abstract painting attend.
The mind at a loss to guess its inspiration.
Look for an eye, impose a nose.
Acknowledge it has no theme.
Mirrors worlds not seen.
Only with eyes closed, in a dream.
Maybe that is a figure in a white coat,
a shiny helmet on its head,
emerging from a cave mouth?
Could be, but the mind
can make too much of a hint.
The Hawk and the Hare
I lid my eyes, become blind,
block view of distractions,
I find rest in the black bath
hidden by vision,
refreshment in what is sealed
Shadow grows solid.
My mind summons mountains.
I lift my chin, look up.
Watch them turn, bend back,
ascend the air
until they are there.
I wish to be in the wild
where it is as it was,
I listen to water.
It trickles down a rocky slope
from the grassy roof of a cave.
A wanderer walks, far off.
I raise my hand and wave.
Few are ever out there,
few want to go.
The way of the hawk and the hare
endures, sure as the wind will blow.
On the rocks the waves were splashing,
in the sky the gulls were shrieking,
in a pool a crab was clawing
at a shell that hid a snail.
I was younger, I was stronger,
I could hear the sea shore speaking,
and I thought of Ilmarinen,
the smith who forged the Sampo,
the magic mill that spun gold and silver
in Kalevala, the old Finnish tale.
Longfellow wrote Hiawatha
to its rhythm and its metre.
On the page the verses moved me,
they spoke of pines, nuts and cones,
pleasant to my ear like the flow of water,
the flow of water over stones.
I have never been to Finland,
rowed a boat upon its water,
heard the song of Vainamoinen,
as he courted Louhi’s daughter.
There is still the sudden rainbow,
the silence after thunder,
the kite I flew on the grass,
the first inklings of wonder.
Who has stolen the red sun?
Who has hidden the white moon?
Now the wizard war is over,
who will find words to fit the tune?
A Bewilderment of Dove
by Philip Dodd, written for The Best Six Poets project
inspired by a painting by Alex Alemany
On my closed eye lid screen I see
a bewilderment of doves.
Once caught in cloud cages, wind wires,
from barn lofts, orchard walls,
they flutter free.
To doors on the horizon,
they carry a key.
I can only be a witness,
watch them go,
further and further
away from me.
Human as I am I will never know
the lift through the air
on such white feathered wings.
A Tale From A Bestiary Found In A Bazaar
In dreams I was a traveller
in a stone city in the east.
I went up wooden stairs to my room in an inn,
sat in a chair by a window.
The night was quiet, with no moon or star.
Its pages lit by a lamp,
I read a tale from a Bestiary
found in a bazaar.
“It’s jewels not books, people want,”
said the stall trader.
Was not interested to haggle much over the price.
Bought it with four bronze and one silver coin.
My hands rested on it in a basket,
crammed with bracelets, sculptures and pots.
Absorbed by its pictures and prose, I was happy there.
When I woke, my head was warm on my pillow.
I’d rather be here than anywhere.
Green dragon, that of earth,
red dragon, that of fire,
white dragon, that of cloud,
black dragon, that of the pit,
pale dragon, that of the shroud.
Which one now crawls from its cave?
Witness its wings.
Land like sky is no shelter.
Who now shall cower?
Who now shall be brave?
Willy Wart Wandered W Way
Willy Wart wandered W way. Was wagon waif. Worked writer writ word. Wisely wore weevil waistcoat. Watched worldly worm wrestle wren. Weathered world wrecked wreckage wreck. Was white winter whistler wretch. Weird wood walked. Walnut wizard wand waved. Wiry warlock warbled. Waked wren. Watched wren wing wold. Way winded. Walked in Wayfarer’s Inn. Waylaid Winifred Woodchuck, waitress worked. Wanted wine without wasp, warm whortleberry pie without whinnyshins. Winifred winked, wanton wholesome wench.
Wade Wykehan wanted Wilhelmstrasse wine, dish of whipped wish. While Wallace Witenagemot whaled way in Wayfarer’s Inn, lit pipe weed, woke smoke. Was Woden worship willow wizard. Willy Wart talked Wade and Wallace with wise wit.
Wensleydale Wertherisms Wallace wedged. Walter warmed with Wittenstein wonder wit. While Weland Wealdsmith waded in with wise word hoard wealth.
Willy Wart went waltz with Winifred Woodchuck. Watched Walter Wise Waffle waltz Winnhilda Warpspeed, wardrobe wide wealthy widow. Walter Wise Waffle worked Whitehall. Was weighty Westerner, weekend wine wimp. Wound watch. Waltzed Winnhilda Warpspeed. Wanted wholesome whoopee. Walter winked. Winnhilda whined. Was wanton windy Wednesday. Went wallpaper watching. Walter whistled, whispered to Winnhilda. Wrung woven web weirdly wrought.
Wilbert Woodwose, wrinkled wheelwright, waltzed Winnie Windup, Waitrose worker. Went willow woods whortleberrying. Waked in wondrous water wells. Was Wordsworthian wanderer. Walked wild wilderness without woe.
Witness Wendy Windflower, weekend wrong wisp wimple, was wishy washy. Wisteria Wiseacre, warehouse warden, withheld wages. Wendy warmed to Willy Wart. Willy Wart wanted Winifred Woodchuck.
Wendy whined when Willy Wart wedded Winifred Woodchuck.
“What womb waste woe,” Wendy wailed.
Wolfram Wolverine, wood wizard, woke wormwood worm, wyvern wise. Went withershins without withy.
Wallace Windlestraw wedded Wendy Windsor. Went willowy Wimbledon, will-o-the-wisp Winchester way. Wallace, wigwam widower, wedded Wendy, wicker wife.
Wilhelm Wardour, wardrobe wright, Waterloo warrior, werewolf whiff, wench wheedled Wendy Windflower. Went wanderlust warren. Waltzed Wendy with Walloon Wallaroo warthog.
“Why wrought wrong wry wrinkle wrist?” wondered Wendy.
Wen Wheatear wronged Willy Wart with wharf owner whangee. Wore whacked Welsh wellingtons. Was webbed Wednesday wedding weep weather. Wen wore weasel weeds with Wealden wealth.
“What wax wavy wattle waul wave,” whispered Willy Wart.
Whopping webbed walrus waited, wedged on wave washed wharf, was witty woof. Willy Wart watched Weezella Wind Witch, whimsy woman, wash white wool, weld wealthy weapon. Woke winds. Welkin whelp. Wombat wanted wean wane.
Willy Wart wondered why wrath wraith wrangle wrap.
“Why wrought wrong wry windy winsome wherry?” wailed Weezella Wind Witch, whimsy woman.
“Wrought wrong way wedge wood ward weave?” warranted Willy Wart.
Westerly went Willy Wart with wife Winifred Woodchuck. Waged war with wind pipe in Wattage Cottage. Whacked world Y way.
Wee Wend Willy Wart wrought.