Tag Archives: youth and age

Dint In The Flint

Dint In The Flint

O ye bins and badges, herons and badgers,
ye throstle throated thistle thorn tub tenders,
ye clapped cloud cymbal tinkle tappers,
hear ye of the knight in the green shadowed wood,
at rest from the quest of the quibbler,
his head on a mound asleep to trickling water sound,
sheltered by his first star of summer shield.
Ye blue sky wind blown wing flyers,
awaken and wash my youth eye in my wise age,
let me follow a leaf through legend’s rural page
to embark on a rowan stage.
And ye that walk but cannot be heard,
talk on a higher pitch than bird,
let me sense you are there in some far off dell,
let me sway secure inside your chrome city bell.
O ye wind jammers on the wet pyjama seas,
O ye pelican bills on the pecked pirate parrot trees,
let me fetch berry baskets back
from the last black berry picking outing
when there was pleasure in the smile,
joy in the shouting.
O ye sparrows and finches
that chirp in the backyard near
take me back to then to be clearly here.
O ye attic bards, basement bards,
O ye walrus whiskered wine merchant
watching Wagon Train on Wednesday
when the weather forecast is due.
Better wrap it up while the vintage
tastes fine as any antique brew.
Ye that are finished with perfection
detect a dint in the flint that no one knew.
The birds have gone from my garden
as if vacuumed from the air.
I pledge my heart will not harden,
still a child bare foot on the stair.

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Wizard War

Wizard War

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?

For Billions Of Years

For Billions Of Years

They will begin to disappear,
one by one, here and there,
year by year,
they will begin to disappear,
people related to you,
friends that you knew,
till the many become few.
It is natural, it is the way.
Tropical fish may swim in your glass tank,
but you know nothing will stay.

For billions of years,
before I was born,
I was not here.
For billions of years,
when I am gone,
I will not be here.
You know that is true.
The same goes for you.

When I was younger,
such thoughts brightened my brain,
wakened my wonder.
Now all I can do is grow older,
but my burden is less on my shoulder.

Your middle eye is closed, forgotten,
but not all you see is burnt or broken.
The stranger you see in the street
may be free of sleep but has never woken.

Though you will never take it all in,
be brave, leave the cave,
away from the camp fire,
go off to explore
the forest, the desert, the city,
the mountain, the sea shore.
The dinosaurs were here,
and they were for a long time,
till one by one, here and there,
year by year, they began to disappear.
Some survive as skeletons in museums,
face it all with no fear.

 

 

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.

Lines To My Young Self Returning

Lines To My Young Self Returning

Look what the wind blew in from the moor,
the sea drove to the shore,
see who it is who stands at the door.
The one expected but not the same returning.
Face shows what grows with life’s learning.
Far enough away now,
old enough to welcome my young self home.
Let us share this mug of tea.
Here is where it led, the path you took to roam.
What winter made hard spring will melt.
Tell me of your feelings felt.
Let me intrude.
What thoughts came to you in solitude?
But I know, don’t I?
No one ever asked
of the ways you took beneath the sky.
As for me, as you see,
I have not changed much.
Still read, write, love the same songs.
Out there, in the wild, my spirit belongs.
Truth I still try to touch.
I have the advantage, for I know you,
but you look a little baffled by me,
like an owl by a thunder struck tree.
Yes, this is what you became,
what you grew into.
Always the one made of too much vapour
to be certain on what I knew.
I am glad you came, paid a visit.
A meeting so sudden, vivid, intense
cannot be held to last.
Let you go then, a shadow figure
drawn back into the glass,
a face in a mist reclaimed by my past.
Glad you came.
After all, we share the same life, the same name.

Summer Plays

Summer Plays

Summer plays to the beat of a bamboo drum,
I pick up my guitar, some old songs I strum.
So much has gone but there’s more to come.
Water is fine, keep your wine and your pirate rum.
I just want to get to this tune I sometimes hum,
and forget the silent sway of the pendulum.

Woodwind notes float on synthesizer strains,
and no one really minds what the gambler gains.
Memory of mud says it often rains.
Gold of the sun means true wealth, so no child complains.
I remember those long walks down those country lanes,
the pleasure in the fields, the love that never wanes.

He found the chords on his guitar,
joined a band and became a star.
Bells that chime are the same that toll,
still he loved his time in rock and roll.

One man held all the cards, no one seemed to mind.
They slipped into sunshine, other games to find.
The man with the cards said: Are you blind?
They said: You devised the game. And left him behind.
He thought: Did he want to win just to be unkind?
Did he want to eat all the fruit, even the rind?

Summer stay in my play when you let autumn come.
Let me still hear your beat on a bamboo drum.
So much was lost, cannot count the sum.
Keep me in line with your wine and your pirate rum.
I just want to set my love to a tune that I can hum,
not regret the silent sway of the pendulum.