Tuesday, 31 December 2013

The Last Day of December 2013 as seen from the Bathroom Window.

The tree that once was lightning struck
Looks itself like a fork of light
Reaching and branching to make a connection
A dead and jagged imperfection,
Right on the line of sight,
Stretching up to the crowd of crows
Who circle it during the day
And seem to portend something;  nobody knows
What it is, or wants to say.
And the water runs brown and dull
And the backdrop of sky is grey
And before high tide the river's full,
And the old year runs away.
The tree that once was lightning struck
Reaches up to the dull grey slate,
And the air is wet and cold,
And the sky seems dark though it's not yet late,
As the last day ages and seems to grow old,
Like the year, before its time.
And the crowd of rooks who circle the sky
Act a ragged black ballet or pantomime
A traditional end to the year as they fly
Over the water both brown and dull
Before a backcloth of sky, which is grey,
And before high tide the river is full,
As the old year runs away.

Monday, 30 December 2013

Silent Worship

Did you not see my lady?
I've been stalking her on Facebook,
Surely you've seen her picture
You really ought to have a look,

I've fancied her for her an age,
She's in my class at school,
She makes my hormones rage,
She thinks I'm a spotty fool.
Though I would never look at her,
And though she would never look at me,
I've found a way of observing her,
That's exciting, but not guilt free:

There's a virus on her Android,
Which means that she really can't avoid,
Letting me see her close up,
When she is of clothes, devoid,

Oh surely you've seen my lady,
Upon her bedroom chair?
Rivalling all the porn stars,
With her absence of pubic hair.

Sunday, 29 December 2013

High Tide

The tide is lapping brownly round the trees,
The water smelling salty and exciting,
And in the dark, the gentle swilling seas
As they rise up, are quietly inviting.
The still, cold night, does not seem charged with fear,
The street lights burning greenly white and clear
Accentuate the old domestic scene,
In contrast to the wildness in its midst
The tension now, just as it's always been.

The footpath by the grey-brown brine is kissed;
The licking, sucking, gentle, splashing sound,
Is just the moon, taking its loving parting,
Absenting, for a while, but not forsaking,
This piece of muddy, saturated ground.

An Enunciation at Bursea Chapel.

Two miles south west of 'Land of Nod,'
A little chapel sits,
Of even orange, rustic brick;
To the tasteful glory of God,
Designed by William Butterfield,
I think that's why it fits.

It glows in cheerful morning light
And welcomes its old friends,
To take communion in the warm
And strongly recommends itself
Simplicity feels right.

The hymns, Ancient and Modern,
Are quietly intoned
And o' er the prayer book's paths well trodden
The congregation bends,
And mumbles its responses,
With feeling, most well honed.

And you should hear the minister
Who oversees proceedings
In Yorkshire-Oxford accent clear,
Which voice repels the sinister,
And confirms joy and drives out fear,
What blessings are his readings!

And all upon this Sunday morn
Within this chapel place
Upon this warp land fertile fen,
Because of God, His grace,
We heard the words of Betjeman,
Spoken lugubriously,
Each one sounding alone, forlorn,
Like Alan Bennet being Eeyore,
So the congregation, me,
Or anyone without the door,
Might know what all this fuss is for,
Might hear good news in accent clear
As we do this time of year,
And as we will continue to;
Alan Bennet being Eeyore:
"And is it true, And is it true?"

(I don' know where the centre of 'Land of Nod' is, it is sign posted from Tollingham and there is a bridal path to it off Skiff Lane)

Saturday, 28 December 2013

An Inside Frost (rondeau)

An inside frost, a common sight;
Until this year, in bed at night,
I 'd feel the rime coating like mould
The sashes in the freezing cold,
And wake to find, in morning light,
Interior glass with ferns bedight,
Despite the heating and despite
The wooden shutters, sagging, old,
An inside frost.
But this year cold has taken fright
And even when the moon shines bright,
The air behind the shutters' fold
Upon the glass does not make bold
And curious imprints which delight -
An inside frost.

Friday, 27 December 2013

Watching The Gradual Appearance of Dawn as Described by the Shadows.

The dark destructive forces of the night,
Have fled before the pink and creamy dawn,
And only jagged, crumpled, torn
Remnants, formed as shadows in morning light
Are hanging on the painted plaster wall.
All that remains is this greyness
Which marks the shapes of objects, all
Dappled and marbled with paleness
In patches of brilliant strangeness
Whose edges are quite undefined.

The end of the blackness is clear
But, like an obvious metaphor for a state of mind,
As the shades of light's absence disappear
They fade seamlessly in their gradations,
And merge without seeming to blend.
And the old hand blown glass undulations,
Which cause this display as they bend
The light, through the south eastern window,
Are unconscious of their effect,
As the sun gains in strength, though it's low
In the sky, but one still can't detect
The moment of change...
Then it's past.

The gramophone' s trumpet' s repeated,
There' s a fold where a shadow is pleated
As it echoes the curtain, and last
In the shades parade is the clock
With its swan neck pediment doubled
And its endless, soothing, tick and tock,
Its quiet noise, untroubled
By this ancient rite,
Which marks, without delineation
The ending of the night.

Wharram Percy

The muddy path on which we slipped
Our December descent from the road,
To the place where the trees moped
Over the stream,
By the wooden gate,
Where they dripped;
Was one on which we slowed.
It took us away
From the positive warmth
And the brightness of the day,
Whose faint,
Buff flush,
Of dry, dead grass
Upon the sun kissed wold
Hockney could n't have hoped
To recapture in
Purple paint.
It took us into the hush,
Beyond a deeper shade,
And the sense of perpetual cold.
And although we made another ascent
On the hill, on the opposite side
Still we went drearily further away
From the laughing and optimistic day,
To the green, grass clearing lumpy and wide,
Where the long deserted village lay,
And nothing was there save a crow.
There were excavation mounds
And demarcations to show
The former dwelling places.
And in the grounds

Surrounding the church,
abandoned now,
Was a board telling what had been learnt,
From the place,
And why and how.


Those who can, drink,
Those who can't, preach,
Those who can, clean
Those who can't, bleach,
Those who can drink bleach,
Cannot thereafter think or preach
The virtues of cleanliness of thought,
Nor can they confess,
The drunkenness,
Which caused this mess.
The moral of this story isn't clear,
Except you cannot clean your mind
With bleach, but have no fear,
Though there is much that
Is reduced by copious drinking,
Including man's capacity for thinking,
His thoughts wouldn't often be so impaired such that
He might believe he was made of asbestos
And able to withstand a pint of Domestos.

Monday, 23 December 2013

Cold in Bed ( rondeau)

Despite the lack of frost, my head,
Is still so cold at night, in bed,
Since I have cut my poor thin hair
That I'm so chilled I cannot bear
To lie quite still, and so instead
I wake, thinking of making bread
As my mother did. And so I tread,
Quietly across the floor, where,
Despite the lack of frost
My many layers of clothes are spread,
And reach the door and open it in dread
Lest the joyful, bouncy dog is there.
I tiptoe on the creaking stair
The stone floor feels as cold as dead,
Despite the lack of frost.