Thursday, 30 January 2014

Crap Thinking (rondeau)

Crap thinking, always prevalent,
immune to reasoned argument,
the power of human vanity
so strong that our capacity
to question, be intelligent,
seek only real enlightenment,
is put aside, development
stopped. Familiarity -
crap thinking-
(reciting) taking precedence
we are our own establishment
and thus, preferring certainty,
we're reduced by this inanity,
this cult of what is relevant:
crap thinking.

Friday, 24 January 2014

Fifty Shades of Grey (rondeau redouble)

Fifty shades of grey in winter weather,
not all eliciting resistless sorrow,
most beautiful of all the pigeon feather,
it's iridescence giving hope - tomorrow
will be bright, cheerful in greater measure
than this day's dreary hue;  look slant, see heather
violet, peacock blue; no pigment, it must borrow
fifty shades of grey in winter weather,
and make them modulate in incidental light, in turn together
amplify, attenuate and thus produce a rainbow.
Fifty shades, within a single treasure,
not all eliciting resistless sorrow,
and yet, having to find hope within the shadow
feeling one must search to find one's pleasure,
the colour in the endless chiaroscuro,
most beautiful of all the pigeon feather,
feels sometimes like a chore, and altogether
one wishes that the palette were less narrow
and one wonders at such beauty, whether,
it's iridescence giving hope - tomorrow
will be brighter, is false; might it wither?
Is this optimism,like the feather's shaft, quite hollow,
as there's beauty of a sort when storm clouds gather,
and who knows what's to follow -
Fifty shades of grey?

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Darjeeling First Thing

There were sometimes mice
in the upstairs kitchen
and on occasion it was  difficult
to make the distinction,
between the evidence they left,
declaring their existence;
which was invariably their habit
on visiting
and the large black leaves,
scattering the surface
of the contemporary, Formica
teak effect  cabinet.

Faith was required,
a strong conviction,
that however odd the taste
that was the intention,
the nature of Assam , Earl Grey
or Lap sang,
not the accidental addition
of mouse excretion.
'Here's a cup of tea darlings,
we've run out of Typhoo,
so it's a cup of Darjeeling,
there's no milk, so its Carnation
and no sugar,
but thankfully necessity 's the mother of invention
so I've sweetened it with treacle.'

So we sat up in bed
and drank the strange concoction,
pale and weak
or strong and syrupy,
we daughters of invention,
grand daughters of necessity,
partly out of thirst, and partly out of duty
and partly out of a great curiosity
and partly with a hope that our mother's devotion
would mean she'd not allow us
to drink brewed mouse poo.

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

This Morning For A Moment The Dog Caught A Hare.

A kestrel which swept low over the field,
a red gold brown in  brilliant winter sun,
alarmed a hare which startled then revealed
itself, not camouflaged against the dun
and lumpy plough, as it had been before
among the grasses at the fields edge.
In panic it ran back along the wire,
to where the irrigation drain with sedge
grown close prevented its escape.

And there the dog, just for a moment, stood,
and pinioned him, and I stood by agape,
until my sense returned, so that I could
shout a loud and Sergeant Majorish command
and watch the hare fly up and over land.

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Dozing Off and Remembering Vegetable Stew With Cabbage.

Drifting into fireside armchair dreams
exhausted from the housework of the day,
I'm standing in the kitchen and I seem
to keep glancing down into a pan, the way
that children do, in charge of cooking.
And the pan's the pressure cooker full of stew,
and what I notice in my anxious looking,
is savoy, so I know that it was you
who made it, with pearl barley. And the scent
drifts up, of vegetable stock.

And then as I begin the slow ascent
to wakefulness, accompanied by the clock,
I feel a great nostalgia and the pain,
of knowing I'll not eat your stew again.

Thursday, 9 January 2014


Silent now, though never still,
Buteo Buteo, beautiful,
beside the boring bypass bridge
against the changing sky
wheeling raptor, prompting rapture,
out of some instinctive duty.
Above the scrubby bit of wood,
along the man made ridge
back above the sandy hollow,
rough and holey warren meadow,
you fly;
your wide wings spread
as if you would,
through sheer force of will,
above the alder and the willow
and the Drax clouds' pure white billow,
drive out rabbit, pheasant, hare,
and there above the muddy field,
chocolatey and lying fallow,
at the sudden point of capture,
your cruel talons wield.

Monstrous and dark brown shadow,
ravenous and wheeling raptor,
rapture at your strength and beauty
born of some poetic duty
seems to drive off care.

Friday, 3 January 2014

The Pruning of Apples and Pears by Renewal Methods

I have a first edition somewhere here,
filed with non-fiction alphabetically.
No dust jacket; a useful book, with clear
instructions given non poetically.
And yet how much of poetry is pruning,
how truly pruning makes a tree poetic,
a means of striking balance and fine tuning,
to gain a strong and simpler aesthetic.
And yet in cutting out the oldest wood,
criss crossing branches, timber inward growing,
we gain new growth, both vigorous and good,
succeed in improving what we had, showing
that when we cut, the branch, fed from the root,
regenerates to yield much finer fruit.