Here is a selection of my poetry for FEBRUARY
Bright white moonlight over dark trees -
The luminescence of snowdrops.
A thrush, clear voiced on misty air,
Repeats his song across the dawn -
A benediction to the Spring.
BREAKFAST IN ORLANDO
As light begins to fill this motel room,
I watch day break across an alien land :
Strange trees; buildings, unrecognisable
From shadows of the sauna heated night,
Disclose themselves in startling shapes and hues.
A childhood pudding of rice :
Add the blackcurrant and stir.
Today, white clouds leach purple -
Day breaks like a massive bruise -
Here's Saturday with a scowl.
Hoar frost on window panes
Etched with icy flowers.
Star decked, black velvet sky
With a hard frost glinting;
Cold — the cattle steaming.
The house stood on a lovely spot
with valley views across the stream
a place that he named Camelot.
It was decrepit, tumbledown –
a sure sign of the owner’s age –
yet every year the garden bloomed.
After the old man moved away
the gates were chained, house boarded up,
so brambles thrived and nettles grew.
Last autumn, heavy plant moved in
to knock down walls and clear the site –
thin rubble where the house had been.
This spring, while horses grazed close by,
daffodils bloom where old man toiled…
and proves old gardens never die.
FROM A WINDOW
As winter slowly lost its grip,
at dusk each day, from ivied tree,
he sang of spring and of his love
to all the listening robin world.
As I wash dishes at the sink,
my window frames a tender scene —
a female robin, round with eggs,
waits patiently for his return.
Their courtship started with his song
and now he brings her gifts of seed
beneath their hidden mossy nest
in ivied tree where he still sings.
When apple blossom fills that tree
I'll look out for this robin's young —
so speckled, like young nightingales —
and watch him feed them one by one.
It was done by pure deception:
“Tradesmen bring essential tools;
take work permits and belongings
board the train, obey the rules.”
From the ghetto to a new life –
thousands bought this simple lie,
on “the ramp” they were divided :
those for work and those to die.
To the left, the old and feeble,
younger children, tired wives;
to the right , the fit and strongest –
“medical” performed by eye.
“Come this way to take a shower,”
they were told who’d failed the test,
all the left queue shuffled forward,
trusting it was for the best.
Look at the pictures on this calendar :
It is the perfect day on Kiribati, *
The sky a seamless blue and azure sea
Where men go out to fish as all men must.
Here small lagoons are made as heart shaped traps :
Each heart a triumph for the waller’s hand -
Meticulously formed from piled stone -
With one small gap where fish swim over sand.
In England’s cold I face your heart of stone
And hope this day to find that secret gap
Where, eel like, love can find the only way
Into your heart, inside love’s tender trap.
* Pronounced : kee-ree-bus
KIRIBATI is an island nation of coral atolls in the Pacific Ocean.
Uncertain that my memory serves me well —
my nose pressed to the window of the past
for images that flicker like old film
with action blurred and features lost to chance.
Like sound heard at the bottom of a pool
or distant tones that echo underground,
it seems your message now falls on deaf ears
as I strain hard to catch the words you owned.
I hold your ring with keepsakes from the past —
mementoes of the times and life we shared,
without your essence they can never spark
but memories persist though you're not there.
In memory of Mary Elizabeth Osada 22/07/1921 - 28/01/2015
Walking alone is such cold comfort.
Below the stunted hedge dry leaves blow.
Small stirrings : a snowdrop flower unfurls,
The rooks work noisily in barren trees,
Whilst high above, dark clouds gather like thoughts.
There is a stillness now, expectancy :
My heart feels old, but not this sense of spring.