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Showing posts from 2017

Happy Christmas!

Christmas – or if you prefer, Solstice, Hanukkah, or just This Special Time…







Stop now.  For a moment, wait. And look.  From here you can see far. In this direction, where we’ve been – the climb, the ups and downs.
Now turn around. There before you lies the future.  At the summit of the year there’s time to rest, and be refreshed – let’s gather here, so we may share each other’s company, look forward to the new arrivals, lives to come travelling into this misty landscape, and in our brightness bring to mind those no longer in our group.
So drop your rucksack, get your breath back the old year lies behind – for now let’s all enjoy the present gift-wrapped here before us.


I’m quite sure this little poem has no great literary, let alone poetic merit, but hey we don’t always have to be polished, clever, neat or profound. Or original. Or elegant.
Especially not when you’ve just got to the top of a mountain.
But there is a definite and justified sense of celebration to be savoured then.
I’ve always loved moun…

Everyone a King

Water Music


I just had to post this poem while we’re still in 2017. Handel’s Water Music was premiered on the odd, if not magical date of 17/7/1717.
It wouldn’t be the same somehow in the boringly even year 2018...




We played hard that evening, us fifty from Whitehall to Chelsea, then all the way home. Till four in the morning we walked on the water gently in duples, jigged hornpipes in three,
from Overture to Air we strolled and we danced staccato, legato, allegro, con brio our melodies flowed down the river, lost as we played them.  But he liked what he heard.
Three times he wanted it, over and over, ‘I shall have it again’, and he had it river reflected, broken by waves those symphonies, rippled like flags
fluttering a moment. So we too were kings for a while, gorgeous and golden along with the real one, old George. And the younger as well, he was well pleased
to breathe in his music, inspired by this water, refreshed and transformed as an echo which travels the river long after we’d played our way home.



A…

The Cadence

He embraces the sheep
an ungainly bundle unusually tilted
now leaning back against the man
who bowed over, grasps with his knees
and left hand, to perform. Like a cellist

he knows how to play.
Fingertips splayed to tension the skin
right hand guiding across the bridge
a gleam of blades to separate fleece –
music from silence, wrapped up in wool.

The animal listens
accepting the prospect of resolution ahead,
resigned to his practised hands, grip of the thighs
the charm of the music
and caressing of steel.

He stretches his arm out
to reach high notes in third position.
Lanolined leather feet shift softly beneath.
The sheep tips back more to enable the soar
of melody heard only by them.

He lets fall the burden
accustomedly righting the sheep. He arises
to bow for a moment as if in acknowledgement
then straightens – the fleece being lifted
and folded, like music.

The performer resumes
with no pause for applause. He turns
to the next – there are more
many more waiting. So the music contin…

My bag of keys, and other baggage

I enjoyed re-encountering this poem which I wrote quite a long time ago – it feels appropriate, with its retrospective feelings, mingled with vague thoughts about the future, at this time of year.

It’s quite simple, telling the story of an experience, but I hope it adds up to more just description.  Keys are evocative, each with their personal story, like individuals in their own right.
At the same time though, they can be grouped into sets, well families almost…

But this is to tell the poem in prose, which undermines the whole point of writing the poem in the first place, so I’ll stop now, and give you the poem.

Though I did also want to say that sometime after I’d written it, I came across another poem about keys.  I thought that was a very good poem; it started in a similar vein, but moved on into a very different area – you may well know it? It made me feel uncomfortable, because I thought other people might think I’d got the idea from her.  But keys – heavy of course with potent…

Ready, Steady, Go...

Thank you for dropping in.  What an amazing thing it is, that I can talk to you, and to myself, like this! Well, welcome to you – and to me, this being my first blog.
I thought it’d be interesting – for me anyway – each month to print out a poem of mine, and to review it; to gather a few of my thoughts and perhaps gather some of yours?
I’d love to hear what you think.
Here’s a poem which I’m fond of.
Does everyone have favourite poems of their own – I mean, that they’ve written?
Of course, an acceptance by a magazine, a placing in a competition, commendation, short or long listing – any sort of mention in despatches – has to generate a warm feeling about that particular piece.  Which is what happened here.
But sometimes – even when, to tell the truth, it’s not what I’d think is one of my best – I just feel warm towards it.  Maybe if this one hadn’t done very well in the big wide world, I’d still be fond of it.
Why might that be? Well, I love dogs – their ability to offer companionship, their…