Here is a selection of my poetry for APRIL 2018
And suddenly the season’s rushing on
as everywhere I look there’s bloom and leaf;
this morning more fresh birdsong fills the air
and green begins to show on sluggish beech.
The rising sun has melted, back to dew,
an early mist that blanketed the fields;
and dandelions glow like tiny suns
below the apple blossom’s first pink frills.
Bluebells fill the copse near Wesley Mill
and, in the hedgerows, ransoms start to show.
The old grey urn has been bees’ home for years
as, from the crack, the busy workers flow
to visit more and more enticing flowers –
enjoying sun, dodging sudden showers.
Madonna and Child Carlo Crivelli (1480)
Exotics, on dull Lenten days,
outflank drab sparrows’ dismal show
with tinkling, bell-like calls in flight
and flash of gold as off they go –
a charm of finches bob the hedge.
Pushed to the margins of the farms
where tractors spray with herbicides,
goldfinches seek untended scenes
for spiky teasels, thistledown
and groundsels’ tiny wind blown seeds.
Kept as a charm against the plague,
then caged for beauty and for song,
they almost died out in the wild
till keeping them was seen as wrong
and Parliament came to their aid.
Yet, down the ages they’ve appeared
in pictures of the infant Christ :
companions for a tiny child,
as symbols of the sacrifice
and passion that was yet to come…
These sweet-voiced, gold-winged tiny birds
pulled out the thorns to free Christ’s crown.
In doing so, his blood was spilled
and blessed them with a love profound –
marking cheeks red as sacred birds.
Our blackthorn has been wonderful this year,
each hedge I passed seemed blanketed in snow.
The trees, like white sails, billowed over lanes
and verges… and the celandines’ bright show.
A gusting wind sprang up to shake the hedge,
bending the trees to rock them to and fro,
releasing blossom in a blizzard fall,
surprising horse and rider just below.
As drifts of snow-white petals filled the lane
the parting clouds revealed a watery sun;
although the signs of Spring were in the air,
the cold wind warned that Winter’s not yet done…
Now, seasons on, the hedge bears blue-black sloes,
As bitter as that wind from long ago.
A BRUSH WITH THE LAW
Escaping the city's fury,
he found the darkness of the park —
hiding his car deep in the trees.
Along the path, near a lone bench,
he stopped to take a well-earned pee.
Free from commitment's heavy weight,
he laid his burden down with care —
his vest packed in a nearby bin.
Leaving, he mingled with the crowds;
anonymous on the fast train.
Later, an urban, midnight fox
following tracks, scavenging food,
stops to sniff the loaded bin.
Paws on the rim, he reaches up.
Somewhere inside he can smell food
buried beneath a heavy load
that smells of fear and human sweat.
He reaches in, grabs ties and straps
and gives a tug — to no avail.
He tries again and tugs and tugs…
Such a bright flower in the night
as, calyx-like, the bin unfolds
exploding in a flash of light —
obliterated, fox and bin…
The BOOM! was heard all over town.
Next day, Forensic at the scene
conclude that nothing useful's found
to link abandoned car with bin
and suspects from the big attack…
Or help explain the fox's tail.
With My Father, Bronek Osada 13/04/20 - 11/09/12
In far-off days the road was clear
and safe enough for Dad and son
to practice with first two-wheeled bike.
Gripping the saddle post, Father
steadied bike and son and, pushing
at a gentle trot, sought balance.
Wobbling down the road they went
with Father jogging to keep up –
his grip on bicycle so light.
And I could see his shadow there,
supporting me along the road,
until I noticed it had gone…
I thought I’d left him far behind
but knew that he was always there
and with me now to the road’s end.
In a village without a modern face,
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.