The Ambitious Poet
A monument of twenty first century poetry,
such was the work he wished to create,
leave behind, after his unavoidable death,
acknowledged as such by the literary elite,
the professors of literature, high brow literary critics,
the snooty guardians of wilful, erudite obscurity.
After much mulling, he decided that an attempt
at such a work would be fake, not sincere,
so he carried on writing poems in the way he usually did.
Bird spring song, printed on the air,
pitched too fine and high for attempts at translation.
It is heard in notes not words, that is why.
Is music not speech, signals not conversation.
Still, as a playful test, I attend to one bird,
piping outside my window, in the bush behind the shed,
and try to translate its song into human tongue:
Marga-reet, Marga-reet, join me here, it seems to say.
Your singing lesson is due.
Come, quick as a gull flies after a fish.
I cannot cancel your singing lesson.
Come to me, promptly, speedily.
Converse with me, in my tubular song space.
I never ask for much, please grant my wish.
Rejoice with me in this fresh time
of nest building, chick feeding.
Marga-reet, cherish the choral way we always had.
Summer soon, long winter gone.
Spring brings our kin of feather and wing
to flutter and sing on the wind ways.
Add your notes to our knitted song screen.
Marga-reet, hear my call.
I am impatient to chirp beside your lovely form.
Universal unison, eternal essence,
I sing in the cleansed air.
Our twittering, chattering lines have no conclusion.
Winter’s great grandfather wisdom
buds in the green brain of the spring child,
born to grow to be the youth of summer,
who will mature to muse on wood and water,
clad in autumn’s leafy cloak.
The sky is clear, the air is icy.
The boat I steer has my faith.
It moves on, straight and steady.
The sea is calm, reflects my shadow.
I dream of shores and harbours,
what may swim the deep below.
Wanderer on the watery waste,
wind in my sail determines
when I may cruise or make haste.
Be it my wish or fault, I am here.
The stronger my spirit, the less I fear.
With the waves I drift and drift.
Crystal lamps the grey clouds shift.
From ocean dreams I will wake.
Another path I will take.
The Finger Prints of Achilles
The finger prints of Achilles
left on his chariot, shield, sword and spear,
long buried in the dust
with the walls and towers of Troy,
but his deeds live on in his tale
I seem to have known since I was a boy.
Grey hairs of the beard of Odysseus,
curled and brittle, gone with his ship,
its mast and sail.
His name sung yet by bards of strange seas.
New craft they build with hammer and nail.
They voyage out to a far land
that remains in a myth.
Still try to reach its shore.
Work to be worthy
to taste the wine of Olympus.
But, they ask, what if the grapes are dry,
can be brewed no more?
Why don’t you leave us?
Why don’t you go?
You did not believe us.
Your one word was no.
You cannot deceive us.
Your true face we know.
You can hide hatred,
still it will show.
It has come to grieve us,
the cargo you tow.
Repent in your exile.
Be brother not foe.
With a grunt like a goat,
he turned and fled from the court.
The words of his banishment
made him craft more cruel the weapons he wrought.
He led the first rebellion,
broke every law of the Lord.
Scripture says Michael
ousted him with his sword.
Last Flocks of the Geese
We are late, late in our going,
the last flocks of the geese
seem to say in the sky,
but maybe we will be
early in our returning,
they call as they fly away,
leaving us with the crow and the sparrow,
the robin to sit on
the cold, bare branches of winter,
and we forget about the geese,
until we hear them returning in spring,
would that I were a bird,
first learning to sing.
( from my new book of poems,
Last Flocks of the Geese
published 19th, February, 2019
Kindle version available on Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com
paperback version will be available on Amazon before the
end of March, 2019. It is already available on Lulu.com )
Study Amy Johnson in her photograph,
taken in the 1930’s, sometime, somewhere,
so it’s in black and white,
her smile is not a smudge,
rather it is still clear,
as if she were still here.
She looks comfortable, at home,
proud to be in her pilot’s jacket,
as if her first flight was near.
The time of her fame,
her name in the newspapers,
first woman to fly from England to Australia,
to Moscow from London in a day,
flies further and further away,
year by year.
Had she been born a man, she once said,
maybe she would have explored the Poles
or climbed Everest,
to move minds, give hearts a stir,
but as she was born a woman,
her spirit found an outlet in the air.
Watch her wave from her Gipsy Moth aeroplane.
See the pioneer aviator fly further and further away.
As it is with each of us, time would not let her stay.
On her last flight, she fell from the sky.
Was lost in the Thames, the river of London.
Time left her there. Water swallowed her cry.
Amy Johnson flies further and further away
on her solo flight into the past and there she will stay.