Here is a selection of my poetry for JANUARY
It’s time to fold this old year up for good.
From here, it looks an unremitting grey
but, looking closer, signs from every day
are there like guides, if we just understood.
Beyond the scorch marks of old arguments,
passed rips and tears of illness and despair,
this tapestry remains in good repair…
Perhaps, for love and joy no testament —
while bright days may be few, they are still there
and moments of epiphany like jewels
help balance out the times that were so cruel,
making grey days much easier to bear.
So, looking back, there is still much to cheer,
‘Though Nineteen hasn’t been a vintage year.
In cold, cold earth beneath the snow
A small life stirs, below, below.
A tiny shoot breaks the iron land,
A tender flower that can withstand
An Arctic wind at an old year's end :
A sign of hope — a small godsend.
Their secret blooming marks the coldest night.
As star light shone down from black velvet skies,
hoar frost etched glass with icy flowers.
By dawn frail snowflake petals crowd cold panes,
each blossom perfect as a precious gem.
Now morning’s here red, sluggish sun, too tired
to climb the eastern sky, has fire enough
to start a thaw : dissolve to water drops
fine filigree, evaporate night’s magic
touch, form beads like rain on window panes.
WALKING INTO SPRING
Today it’s sights —
not scents or sounds but things I’ve seen
that always mark an early Spring —
drear Winter turning green…
The smallest things :
snowdrops, violet, celandines
seen breaking through despite hoar frost —
are Spring times special signs.
near hazel catkins in the hedge,
while pussy willow starts to show
along the rough path’s edge.
From high above
paired rooks revive their nest with twigs,
whilst, on the water courting grebes
exchange a token sprig of weed
as, dancing closely breast to breast,
they tango in the breeze.
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.
The beanstalk’s gone, the giant’s dead and word about Jack’s magic goose has spread…
Dear Mr. Jack,
We write again,
Regarding tax on golden eggs.
We note and thank you for your views,
But Midas gold is not the same.
We understand, from what you’ve said,
That you expect one egg each day.
Please see below the formula
We use for taxing golden eggs.
An ordinary goose will lay
An egg that weighs one, forty grams.
Our experts say this is the same
As water in its density.
But gold, of course, is much more dense :
Nineteen point three times more we’re told.
It follows then, your golden goose
Produces eggs that weigh in grams
Strictly two, seven, seven, nine –
Assuming that it is pure gold.
(But purity’s not our concern –
Please talk to colleagues at ASSAY,
You’ll find their number over page.)
Once hallmarked, we’d expect each egg
To measure eight, nine ounces (troy).
Gold is, of course, quite volatile –
Its value moves from day to day –
But, working from the current rate
In thousands of our sterling pounds,
Each egg is worth seven, eight, point five
(Of course, this figure’s rounded down.)
Thus, annually, your eggs are worth,
In millions, twenty-eight point five
(Remember Leap Years’ extra charge.)
The rate of tax on such a gain
Is laid out clearly – see Point 9.
Our detailed leaflet is enclosed.
So let me know of anything
You find with which to disagree –
Our Reference G.E. 923.
N.B. Regarding Hallmarked Gold :
Each egg must pass the ASSAY scale
And must be sent to Birmingham,
But be advised don’t use the mail.
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