Tag Archives: poetry

Whatever Will Come

Whatever Will Come

Someone plays flamenco guitar.
How did he get to be that good?
It takes more than hours of practice
to be so tuned to the strings and the wood.

A dancer in a scarlet dress.
Castanet rattles through the flow.
Witness a work of genius,
like Picasso had in his studio.

Someone is playing piano.
Notes paddle on a tranquil sea,
similar to a sonata
that is old yet it has found a new key.

Whatever will come, whatever has gone,
sail on, sail on, like a swan, sail on.

Someone plays gypsy violin,
summons eastern stars, bread and wine.
A poet pulls out a notebook,
inspired to write verses, line after line.

Whatever will come, whatever has gone,
sail on, sail on, like a swan, sail on.

 

Outcasts From Eden

Outcasts From Eden

Was there ever an Eden?
Was Eden ever on Earth?
What survives of old wisdom
is weighed for its worth.

Was Eden ever on Earth?
Is it a myth in the mind?
A paradise in the past
that we left far behind?

The answer does not matter.
What does is the tale,
of how we took the wrong path,
how in our innocence we fail.

Outcasts from Eden,
we cannot return.
The tapestry is torn.
What we build we burn.
The truth we are given,
we choose to unlearn.

Outcasts from Eden,
stowaways on the sea,
refugees on the road,
we pine to be free.

Outcasts from Eden,
we still look for light,
envy birds that migrate,
wish to follow their flight.

Outcasts from Eden,
tasted forbidden fruit.
We know no goodness can grow
from a serpentine root.

Outcasts from Eden
or so we are told.
We sold our freedom
for cold vaults of gold.

Outcasts from Eden,
never forgiven,
on tablets of stone
carve scriptures from heaven.

 

Hiram Holliday

Hiram Holliday

2020, the year of bad, sad news.
Look for comfort and you may not find a crumb.
I could easily drown but I refuse to succumb.
Blind in the dark, I feel for a pulse,
hope to tap a vibrant line,
try to free myself from negative force,
want to wake up feeling fine.
A figure in a white suit flickers from my past,
the star of a comedy
I watched as a schoolboy in days too good to last.
Back then television was in black and white,
but to me it was a magical miracle,
the indoor equivalent of running on the grass,
my grip on the string of my red and green kite.
It is coming clearer, I find it in my file,
a series from America
that made me laugh and smile.
Why does most of it go blank?
Why does some of it stay?
Anyway, I am pleased to remember
Hiram Holliday.
Let’s clean these rusty reels,
see if they can still play.
Let’s watch The Adventures of Hiram Holliday.
See him on the screen, calm and confident
in his trousers, suit, shirt and tie,
steel rimmed glasses, an easy to pass by
newspaper copy clerk
with curiosity lit in his eye.
See villains crowd around him.
They think he is a joke.
They come at him with sabres,
but he is a skilled fencer.
He punctures their dark plots
with one rolled up umbrella poke.
When you feel too down to listen to the blues,
and you find no guidance in the book of codes,
and you’ve lost interest in whatever game you play,
maybe what you need is to watch some episodes
of The Adventures of Hiram Holliday.
And if to the source you want to go,
you can read the book by Paul Gallico.
Hiram never worried, was never in dismay.
Whatever fix he was in, he knew he would get out of it.
He did so with his mild manner, his skills and wit.
Who do I mean? What did I say?
The most unlikely hero, a seemingly insignificant man
whose bright brain won over dull brawn,
and his name is Hiram Holliday.

Links of Light

Links of Light

Turner was a Londoner,
he wanted to paint light,
what it did to clouds,
the land and the sea.
On canvas after canvas,
he tried to get it right.
He knew to what he strove to do
that light was the key.

With oils and water colour,
he desired to capture,
the moods and forms of nature,
the changing weather drama.
Now stop, stand and study
one of his works
he did up in north Yorkshire,
on the coast of Scarborough.
See between the shrimper and his dog,
a starfish on the shore.
Then look up at the ruin
of the castle on the cliff
that seems like a mirage
in pale yellow morning light,
yet like the anchored sailing ships
it is there and is there still.
Agree that he could not have stretched his skill
to capture better what he saw.

Links of light held his concentration.
He did not have to think,
only be a faithful witness,
watching link latch on to link.
He understood that forms are passing,
but light is always there,
and that the body lets us down,
whether we are in rags or wear a crown.
He saw the lit candle in the cottage window
that guides the shepherd home,
the lighthouse on the rock
that saves the sailor from his need to roam.
From the first he stepped out
to study mood and form in nature,
how they undergo transformation
due to chance flows and shifts of light.
On canvas after canvas,
from Britain to Venice,
he tried to do his vision justice,
he lived to get it right.

And now the Bank of England
has knelt to him in honour,
and printed his self portrait and his quote:
“Light is therefore colour”
on a twenty pound note,
proof he reached his shore,
and from it launched his boat.

The Lives Of Others

The Lives Of Others

You walk the streets and wonder
who they are, what they do,
the people in the houses,
car drivers passing through.
You know you will never know,
you gather yourself in.
The method of reduction
tells you what is certain,
and that is you know yourself,
and yet you are not sure,
being brittle under skin,
and fluid at the core.
You feel better in your room.
You draw the curtain, close the door.

They talk of blood and thunder,
they talk of right and wrong.
The days of wine and roses,
we know do not last long.
A light on the horizon
can far too often dim.
If only like a dolphin,
we could this ocean swim.
Slogans chanted in protest
demand the world to change.
We need some kind of treaty
all parties could arrange.
Much more than words on paper,
we need no one looked on as strange.

The soul must have its shelter,
the heart must have its home.
The wilderness is out there
but few desire to roam.
You want to climb the mountain
with no ice pick or rope.
If storms flash on the summit,
you hope that you could cope.
To the lives of others,
the door is always shut.
The lines may be busy
but they might as well be cut.

Must Be Summer

Must Be Summer

Walk round the house with not much on,
must be summer.
Cream and strawberries on your scone,
must be summer.
Start to think of summers gone
when you were younger.
You feel the strength of the sun
as you get stronger.

With an acoustic guitar you can play solo,
you don’t need bass or a drummer,
you just need to finger pick and be a strummer.
Your spirit can feel free in summer,
free as fish in the sea, birds in the air,
and though life is just as hard,
and less and less fair,
you remember how good it can be
when it is summer.

Someone plays some jazz piano in their garden.
The singer sings Summertime by George Gershwin.
You approve, the time is right, the light lasts longer.
The more you focus on sunshine the more you feel stronger.
They still show old films in the afternoon.
Over the hedge a neighbour may whistle a tune.
Everyone relaxed, no one in lumber,
must be summer.
Continue to count till there is no number,
must be summer.

A Man Of Many Trades

A Man Of Many Trades

Once he was a sailor
on the wild, wide stretching seas,
now he was an innkeeper
with a ring of rusty keys.

Once he was a weaver
but grew weary of the looms,
so became a grave digger
to be colder than the tombs.

A man of many trades,
he’s played more parts than a movie star,
even looks like one in shades,
says one thing he came to know
though nothing lasts nothing fades.

Once he was a tailor,
was dry as his tape measure,
then he was a gold miner,
but failed to find a treasure.

Once he was a lawyer
but found no defence for crime,
even as a farmer
could not reap the rags of time.

A man of many trades,
as steamboat captain he fords rivers,
through deeps and shallows wades,
he knew what marks he deserved,
not those who awarded grades.

A Linnet Sings On A Spray

A Linnet Sings On A Spray

A linnet sings on a spray,
be the day bright or grey,
may its wings never wane on the way.

I have the brain of a bird,
I peck round for a word
that rings true, not banal or absurd.

A discarded verse, a ruled out line,
marks of the brevity I sought,
honed to the essence of my thought,
the attempts that failed,
till it was fine, I had it nailed.

A pyramid carved in stone,
from the root to the cone,
strange that it grew from one mind alone.

A linnet sings on a spray,
be the day bright or grey,
may its wings never wane on the way.

Snags In The Way

Snags In The Way

Too many cars on the road,
that we can see,
we don’t have to be told.

Too many planes in the sky,
means more people
can now afford to fly.

Too many ways to pollute,
too many trees
are cut down at the root.

Some people like sugar in their coffee,
some people like lemon in their tea,
some people are really not that fussy,
some people like to disagree.

They carry signs to protest,
they want to free
the south, north, east and west.

Too many snags in the way,
faults in the plan
to heal the world today.

Some people like sugar in their coffee,
some people like lemon in their tea,
some people are really not that fussy,
some people like to disagree.