Tag Archives: poetry

The Wind of the Wild

The Wind of the Wild

Jack Rowland stood by the stable door,
planned to go where he’d never been before,
far from the woods and the fields he knew,
to the moor where the hawk nested and flew.

No, do not cross over the border,
his mother warned, and that was her order.
She said, stay here and be safe, my child.
Don’t listen long to the wind of the wild.

Stone walls we built to shelter us here.
leave the vast moor to the hare and the deer.
Old tales are true, the first folk live there.
They are not like us, to see them is rare.

Jack rode his horse, black as the thunder,
yearned to be shaken, wounded with wonder,
far from the barns and fields of his farm,
till free on the moor, he shook with alarm.

On a far mound, he saw a tower,
fair as a rainbow after a shower.
As his horse beneath him grew less strong,
he knew he was where he did not belong.

All right, all right, he cried, I’m going,
this is your land, folk beyond my knowing.
I’ll return, back over the border.
Now I understand my mother’s order.

Go near the ruin of Rowland farm,
and your tender heart will come to harm.
A broken law made the land defiled.
Don’t listen long to the wind of the wild.

The Cellist

The Cellist

The station had many platforms,
signs took him to his train.
He was finished with the city,
would not go there again.
In that glass and iron shelter,
he feared no threat of rain.

The carriage he chose was empty,
put his case on the rack.
He faced the way he was to go,
the wheels churned on the track.
Warehouses through the window,
a blackened chimney stack.

The airport had so much luggage,
so many aeroplanes.
He eyed the structures in the sky,
the criss-cross of flight lanes.
He had a hate of hollowness,
the table cloth with stains.

A cellist in an orchestra,
he planned to journey far.
Cursed whoever stole his cello
from the back of his car
he’d parked outside a concert hall.
The crime had left a scar.

He told his fellow passenger,
he had lost his best friend,
not a person but his cello.
Now he could not pretend
he knew his human faith was strong
or where his way would wend.

Landed in a foreign airport,
not there on holiday.
He just had the need to travel,
be somewhere faraway.
In a world without his cello,
he found no place to stay.

Wanted to be invisible,
but then he would not see.
Searched for the thief who stole his soul,
cold as his hotel key.
Sat at a table in a café,
wondered what next would be.

Newspapers and television,
stained by all kinds of crimes,
he found no way to ignore them,
no freedom from the times.
He listened among the babble
to hear cathedral chimes.

Snap Out Of The Trap

Snap Out Of The Trap

The pharaoh sat on his throne,
worshipped as the sun god Ra.
To his people he was the Nile,
he was the eastern star,
and as he stroked the mane
of the lion in his lap,
he said, no mortal can be like me, to be that free,
first you must snap out of the trap.

Snap out of the trap.
Vain mortal you must learn
to snap out of the trap.

Mortals conspire
to construct the trap, bar by bar, wire by wire.
If to unwind your mind from it is your desire,
you must work hard, never take a nap,
not if you want to truly see, to be that free,
to entirely snap out of the trap.

There are many pits in the path,
many ways to fall,
but you can still live like a god
in a golden hall.
Hold up the lamp of truth,
and the trap will unhinge,
the wires will uncoil,
then you will see with clear eyes,
and your vision of the stars will never spoil.

Snap out of the trap.
Vain mortal you must learn
to snap out of the trap.

The pharaoh may be more than four thousand years dead,
but be wise, pay heed to what he said.
If you want to be like a god,
stroke the mane of a lion in your lap,
first you must snap out of the trap.

Snap out of the trap.
Vain mortal you must learn
to snap out of the trap.

 

The Puppeteers

The Puppeteers

I was a schoolboy,
I had a wooden fort,
stood it on the floor,
and my tin soldiers fought.
Made one side defend,
the other side attack,
leader of the siege,
and those who battled back.
Mown down by marbles,
soon most of them lay flat.
Was a better game
than with a ball and bat.
Thought if they were real,
I was the one to fear,
for they were the puppets,
I the puppeteer.

I am an old man,
I have no wooden fort.
I know of the wars
in which real soldiers fought.
Watched one side defend,
the other side invade.
Underneath burnt banners,
no treaty was made.
Shot down by rifles,
the wounded and the dead
lie in broken towns.
All hope of peace has fled.
Machine men fighters,
it is not them I fear.
No, not them, the puppets,
but the puppeteer.

The army of China,
the army of North Korea,
watch them march on the screen
like puppets with one face.
It is not them, the puppets I fear,
it is the puppeteer.
Remember Punch and Judy.
No. it is not the puppets that should rouse your fears,
it is the puppeteers.

Sometime Soon

Sometime Soon

Sometime soon sounds better to you
than a  long time later,
as you write the rhyme of the porcupine
and the alligator.
The others on the train blank you out as a stranger.
Safe in your solitude, they interest you,
like them you sense no danger.

The lighthouse on the rock
will guide your boat to harbour.
The door without a lock
lets you venture further.
The further in you go
the more the truth seems nearer.

Faraway, long ago.
All those tales on the page,
all those dramas acted
on the screen and on the stage.
How you loved them when you were inside them.

The arrows of Agincourt, the cannonballs of Trafalgar.
Weapons of war brought victory, defeat.
What if peace had no opposite? Day had no night?
The stag in the mist lives on with no witness.
What if the whale grew legs and walked on the land,
would it decide to turn back and remain in the ocean?
The mermaid is a myth. Still she enchants.
Even old sailors look for her on the rocks.
The hand at the end of the arm,
fashioned to reach, grasp, and hold, clutches its limit
while the mind imagines it can touch stars.
What is that fragrance they wore when they were alive in their skin?
On the outskirts of towns in the north
bears tip over bins in the yards of wooden houses,
clawing and smelling for food discarded by humans,
root through the rubbish for crumbs.
The wild enters the settlements.
A hawk watches from the top of a telegraph pole
the small creatures of the land the gardens cannot tame.
What might happen and what will happen
are not the same things but they can change places.

The People First Party

The People First Party

Vote for the People First Party.
The People First Party puts people first,
everything else, including money, second.
I know it is not your fault
but the way things are now
must come to a halt.
For a long time, it has been money first,
everything else, including people, second.
And a very poor second.
People sell weapons,
not thinking of the people they will kill,
but the money they will bring to the bank.
People need food, clothing, lodging,
not a bomber or a tank.
It would not be enough
for one city or country
to follow the People First Party.
All the world must,
to save us from decline and dust.

Servant To The Song

Servant To The Song

A singer ought to be servant to the song.
Pay heed to that advice and you can’t go wrong.
Attend to the tune and where the words belong.
Forget yourself and then hear your voice grow strong.
A singer ought to be servant to the song.

A craftsman works to be master of his trade.
He shines his skill so that it will never fade.
He wants to be proud of everything he made.
He hopes others will follow the lines he laid.
A craftsman works to be master of his trade.

A shepherd lives for the safety of his sheep.
He holds his staff, the peace of the flock to keep.
Lifts them from the snow before they’re stiff with sleep.
He knows what he may sow he will one day reap.
A shepherd lives for the safety of his sheep.

A runner trains to be winner of the race.
Like astronauts, he challenges time and space.
He knows that only age will lessen his pace.
Desire for victory is carved in his face.
A runner trains to be winner of the race.

A singer ought to be servant to the song.