A selection of my poems for JULY
View towards PLACE, ROSELAND.
This is an elemental place :
Beyond the path mist hangs on ragged oaks,
Sun burning white,
Turns vapours into daytime ghosts.
Here sea and cloud conjoin :
The tide, a muffled slap and shush,
There is a hush enveloping this scene -
As, in slack water herons wait,
A curlew's plaintive voice librates
Across an unseen sea.
Wind on a turning tide
Brings magic - smoke and mirrors -
Conjures up a fishing smack,
Chuntering through the beds of wrack,
For curtained mist to hide.
And from the distance
Tinkling song of sheet on mast,
St. Anthony's low mournful moan;
As all the headland fog holds fast
Spirits and wraiths are free to roam.
A link to a video of this poem can be found at the bottom of this page.
On the quiet road above it all,
the only sound is birdsong and slow bees;
from the lych-gate, where the swallows nest each year,
you look down on the church framed by its trees.
Here lichen covered headstones flank the path,
with Humfrey’s texts, * laid out on blocks of stone
(quotations to inspire whilst climbing up –
but missed by visitants on their way down).
As legend has it, Joseph came ashore
for tin and souls and here began his search;
but the magic of this place is in the eye:
exotic plants surround this creek-side church.
When the tide is full – creek mirrors sky,
reflecting Celtic cross, the trees and church,
cedars, walnut, cypress are all there,
exotic tree ferns, buzzing limes and birch.
Thick bamboo planting makes a fine windbreak –
although the garden’s in a sheltered spot;
huge gunnera thrive down beside the creek,
the giant leaves give shelter when its hot.
Trachycarpus grows close to the graves,
myrtle flowers, acanthus fringe the creek;
this verdant Eden’s fed by springs and rills,
its Holy Well enjoys its own mystique.
In springtime there’s a sea of blue and white
when bluebells and the ramson flowers bloom;
on summer days hydrangeas – blues and pinks
and if it rains montbretia lifts the gloom.
Beneath a spreading palm, close by the creek,
a message on a tablet to embrace
and reason why this couple chose to stay –
in simple words it tells they “Loved this Place.”
* The Rev. Humfrey Davis laid out quotations from 55 religious texts on either side of the main path.
This is the place for silent contemplation :
I'm resting in a wooded sheltered space
And thinking slow and solitary thoughts
Where glow worms once had lit this shaded path.
Coming into focus now how life could be.
Just looking out across this secret place :
Tresillian mud flats to the river's end
And wishing this could be my chosen home.
It's solitude that brings such clarity -
My method of uniting disparate things.
Sitting here replaying all my thoughts
While watching flocks of curlew flying in -
They land, like memories from the past, in these margins.
Birds and thoughts come together here -
My mind won't hurry now between each one.
Like the spiralling buzzard I keep silent watch
While all the time my thoughts just turn or spin.
Still trying to reconcile my past,
I find a way of starting up again:
Light on water, timeless place, salt air and acumen.
In a village without a modern face,
Here's the only pub one would be hasty
To be rude about. Shabby, down at heel,
Yet always welcoming : hospitable.
Low on choice, perhaps, but the basics served.
Quiet here : no bustle, no flashing lights,
No game machines or mindless thumping noise.....
But gentleness — shown on each drinker's face.
Over long, slow pints they talk — not of news,
Weather or other bar inanities —
But of days gone by, folk long dead, of names
Attached to local field or path : Legends
Survive like blood — dark hauntings linger still.
In his corner by the fire, Joe Long sits :
Washed in this ebb and flow of memories.
Silent, but not as simple as he looks,
He watches as it creeps towards his time.
Slowly warm beer unlocks an ancient tongue
And, like some bard of old, he tastes each word
As, in that ticking snug, his tale is told.
Self-sown, on waste ground, in old masonry,
it’s found a toehold on old factory sites,
populates the ruins of stately homes.
Once a cultivar, it slipped away
to set up home beside the railway tracks,
on abandoned buildings, sprouts from broken paths.
Buddleia can outgrow some native plants,
seeds germinate on dry and hostile ground;
its panicles of tiny lilac flowers
are where the bees and butterflies are found.
And, at a time with species in decline,
when campaigns urge Save Butterflies and Bees
our government has found time to decide
that buddleia is no more than a weed…
DEFRA (Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
Has declared buddleia to be an “invasive alien species.”
THE GHOST SHIPS
Woken by the moonlight from my window,
I stumbled out of bed just half awake.
Rubbing eyes, amazed to see the Swallow,
the Fox and Frolic, Sandwich and Sheldrake.
Packet ships are filling all the moorings
in shadow ranks across a silver sea,
Cygnet, Redpole, even Francis Freeling —
the masts a forest out from Greenbank Quay.
Not one light illuminates the cabins
of the spectre ships that have all come home,
some battle scarred, some as floating coffins —
forever in the darkness they must roam.
Prophetic warning? - Portent from the seas?
Or, just like Scrooge, a bad attack of cheese?
Britain was almost continuously at war during the 18th and 19th centuries.
Fast, lightly armoured packet ships carried mail from Falmouth to the
British Embassies and the colonies. These ships had to run the gauntlet
of attack and capture from Britain’s enemies and opportunistic pirates. Many
of the Packet Ship Captains stayed at what is now The Greenbank Hotel.
Here is a link to the video of "ROSELAND"...https://youtu.be/uuikfkvmci8
ALL POEMS ON THIS WEBSITE ARE SUBJECT TO COPYRIGHT