Thursday, 31 October 2013

Two Songs Juxtaposed

I move the earth from the great pile below,
Back up the slope, to where the roses grow;
October sunshine warm upon my back;
The soil friable, currant black.
Then, talk, that's been the gentle background noise,
Is broken by a song, a tenor voice,
The limitation of the melody,
Proportionately inverse to the joy
The singer feels, this warm October day.
The outburst isn't long, but I would say
Sufficient to express a happiness,
Which, born from simple pleasure, none the less,
Most clearly speaks to something deep in me.


But then I go inside; on radio three
Is someone singing with a fiddle, Bach,
The alto aria: Erbarme dich,
I feel an almost sad embarrassment,
That this superior beauty, transcendent,
Be juxtaposed against a  paltry thing:
A man rejoicing autumn warm as spring.

Monday, 21 October 2013

Neglected Autumn Garden

Copyright Alison Houston

The lawn is patched and bald, the grass there is too long,
The border's overcrowded by the wrong
Perennials which thrive too happily and breed,
And crowd each other out and run to seed,
And ask but little in return from me,
Except an autumn cutting to the ground.
And there isn't much left here now to see,
The flowers are done there's nothing much around,
The beauty of peonies in alkanet
Is dying  palms, all leathery, next hirsute,
Drying tongues, so rough they graze, and I forget
The blue sea which springs up from every root,
Reflecting back the beauty of spring sky,
It's time to restore order's all I know
So I wish death on Boraginaceae's race,
A total cull, so there would be no trace
Of blue next year, just soil, to show I
Have the upper hand, over things that grow.

Monday, 14 October 2013

A Swinsty Dream


Last night I was at home once more,
Bursting in at the back door,
Letting in the cold air,
Rushing to the kitchen sink,
To stand and gasp and quickly drink,
Water which tasted like the stream,
Of soil, sphagnum, peat,
A much recurring dream,
An umpteenth time repeat,
Ducking beneath the clothes,
Slung to dry between the beams,
In winter light at 5 O' clock,
Before the Tilly lamp is lit,
And we are sent on despatches,
To bring down the upstairs matches,
And candles for the night,
And purple meths, whose scent,
Should be evanescent,
Being highly volatile,
But which (to me) will always be,
Both symbolic and redolent
Of adolescent energy,
Teenage irritability,
And frustrations,
(With hindsight infantile)
Which suddenly flare.
I don't know why this dream ends there,
Except that its theme,
Not at all mysterious,
Is the need to shed light.

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Early Morning Sun On A Cobweb.

There's a hammock
Slung between two sheets of glass,
Trembling in a current of warm air,
Which rises up to touch it and pass through it,
Testing Gossamer's steel strength. I view it
As a sort of weather vane,
And glancing up at it on waking
If I see tiny shadows fleeting,
Passing over it as tremulously quaking,
It stirs between each window pane.
Then I know the beauty of the morning,
And, eager for the day ahead
I leap up to walk the dog
Forsaking all the comfort of my bed,
Knowing that there's beauty to be seen
And poetry perhaps to be making
In the observation of the river, calm, serene
And still in early sunlight, glinting on the surface
Like the shimmering of light on hand blown glass,
Creating cycles of ideas, like convection,
Moving currents in my head.


I wonder how long I'll let it stay there,
Rocking dessicated corpses in eternal sleep,
I would not wish to pointlessly disturb it,
And yet, how strange a thing to wish to keep?

Thursday, 10 October 2013

The Room Turns Gold.

The room turns gold, as I sit still,
As sunlight through decanters pours;
I think I'll never drink my fill,
Of prism rainbows on the walls.