Here is a selection of my poetry for JANUARY 2018
THE LANE, JANUARY
At almost any time of year
those randy pigeons start to mate.
Summer-blue skies in January
are quite enough to start them off —
to bill and coo from chimney pots
and send the male in search of twigs —
love tokens used to start a nest.
Their building skills are far from honed :
formed in the naked apple tree —
exposed, except for ivy leaves —
can such a fragile, open nest
protect from cold and weather storms?
Myth says that squirrels hibernate,
but not this grey above the lane
out searching for an acorn store.
Unerringly, from branch to branch
he makes his way around the tree.
Unlike the poet, he ignores
those paths less travelled through this elm,
his route, hard-wired in his brain,
will lead him to a place to leap
from tree to tree across the lane,
then, safely on the other side,
he'll hunt the jay's most secret store.
JACK’S PRESS CONFERENCE
Before we start, let’s get things straight :
The giant’s dead, the beanstalk’s gone
And, with our goose, we’ve moved away –
Escaping from the pantomime,
The innuendo and the lies.
So many of you got it wrong –
Too many headlines made no sense…
But worst of all was Aesop’s take
That “Much Wants More And Loses All.”
What kind of fool’s he looking for?
As if I’d kill my golden goose!
Why does he always write such crap?
He needs a handle on events.
Next he’ll be writing of my home
And “building castles in the air,”
When all I’ve done is changed abode
And now sit in the giant’s chair.
Of course, my Mirabelle was pleased
That I could come and live with her –
Now that she’s free, her ogre gone.
We’ve found a lot of things to share
And not just moneybags and jewels,
The giant’s harp or golden eggs.
One final thing before I go :
Despite my old Mum’s vertigo,
She’s happy now to come and stay.
I’ve even bought her back the cow!
She says she’s living in a dream
But promises she won’t plant beans.
CATCH A FLAME
We sat together, watched our fire die,
and soon it will be time to head for home;
should we just leave things, starting to grow cold —
allow the chill of night to enter bones?
Perhaps there's time to use that final log —
we'll see if embers can, once more catch light —
set off a show of sparks and glowing motes
and fire again synapses in the night…
These stir old feelings, shows love's to reclaim —
another spark ignites another flame.
ON FINDING NOTHING TO DO
Why did you let the sloth of age take hold,
when all you’d planned was just a little rest?
While letting lunch go down with your eyes closed,
sloth hugged you, comatose, in three toed grip.
Sloth’s onset is ennui and feeling tired –
it seeks out anyone with less to do,
praying on the work-shy and retired,
their simplest task seems harder to conclude.
Pernicious sloth ingratiates itself :
attractive to both young and old alike,
it takes the drive from young dynamic men
and slim girls end up fat and on the shelf.
Those legions who just watch the world go by -
living a lie – manage to cope. Shirkers, loafers, losers,
layabouts – fishermen without a hook –
are happy enough to give sloth a try.
Poets, painters and assorted thinkers
can live in disarray just for their art;
somehow the everyday does not intrude –
while others cook and clean sloth has them blinkered :
“I’ll sleep on it,” they say to all things new…
But is sloth’s route the way you want to take?
It infiltrates like some unseen disease –
disables, brings you down like Asian Flu.
And, in no time, you find your life has slowed
to the flicker of a Day Room’s TV screen;
with others, dozing fitfully in chairs,
you wait to take the ride down Churchyard Road.
Early today, close by the border of night's dream, a thrush sang :
Through thinning darkness before dawn I heard his song repeat.
Insistently he sang, scattering remnants of soft sleep,
Commanding me, "Awake, awake."
The moon hung full and white above dark trees
And he had come this time, clear voiced on frosty air,
Above snowdrops massed where in the snow he'd fed :
So thankful then for meagre gifts.
Now, on season's cusp, he has returned to claim domain
And share this benediction to the Spring.
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