Here is a selection of my poetry for FEBRUARY 2018
Beneath a mass of threatening cloud,
I’m wrapped against the forecast snow
As I stride out across Larks Hill.
Below, the streaming vehicles groan
Down Harvest Ride and on to town.
Yet here, above the traffic’s drone,
Comes birdsong over tussocked grass -
Too far to carry from the hedge
But clear above the gusting blast.
Casting about this grassy space
I spot them, dots against the sky,
Riding in air too cold for snow,
Braving this February day.
Whilst others shelter in the hedge,
These tiny crested, feathered scraps
Defy the worst that Winter brings.
Miraculous, daredevil birds
Sing out a challenge and a prayer :
An invocation to the Spring.
WAITING FOR THE INEVITABLE
The River Cut is waiting for the Spring,
but from its naked banks the heron's fled
to exile from loud men and their machines
that stripped all living things to water's edge.
The overhanging bushes are now gone –
no twigs for crows to use to build their nests;
no billows, like white sails, along the stream –
the flowering blackthorn's gone with all the rest.
Along the drover's road it's like the Somme,
where nothing now stands taller than the mud;
their Tree Protection Plan has been ignored –
“The new road must come first,” said with a shrug.
They've turned The Cut into a muddy ditch
with concrete channels built to guide its flow;
a roundabout, cramped houses will come next :
from green fields into suburbs in one go.
Secluded, behind trees, five hundred years,
the pub now stands exposed, fronting a plain –
where horses grazed and sloes grew in the hedge
new concrete and red brick spreads like a stain.
Turning to where you'd been, finding you gone
came as a shock — like waking from some dream
so real that sleep seemed the reality
as the immediate became the dream.
Entranced by hazel catkins in the breeze,
sunlight on the Thames, the fresh parterre –
I turned to speak and share my joy of Spring
only to find I spoke to empty air.
For a split second I was bereft —
like an infant finding its mother gone —
composure soon regained, I caught you up —
you hadn't disappeared, you'd just walked on.
And yet your “disappearance” made me think —
how time is measured by the things we've shared,
how often will I ask “Remember when?” …
Impossible to do if you're not there.
Woken by the whine of low jet engines —
a plane banks as it makes its final turn;
semi-conscious, sense celestial spotlight
illuminating pillows on my bed.
See bright moonlight streaming through the window,
a blue moon is filling half the pane;
my garden has become a scene like snow fall —
reflected lunar light removes the green.
Turning from the window I lie sleepless
as in the eerie light my dreams won’t come,
watching as the moon slowly diminished
to silhouette dark trees, a late night bird.
Suddenly a pale light confirms morning —
I rub my eyes, I must’ve been asleep;
my colossal moon’s become a trinket,
pale bauble in a sky louring with sleet.
Walking alone is such cold comfort.
Below the stunted hedge dry leaves blow.
Small stirrings : a primrose 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.
In loving memory : Mary Elizabeth Osada 22/07/1921 - 28/01/2015
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