Sunday, 26 October 2014

The Love of Dog

There is a dog place in my heart that feels like love,
Not real love such as one feels for one's offspring,
Not friendship though, it 's something more.
It's like romantic love without the sex part,
Similar in how it seems a mad obsession.
There is a dog place in my heart which seems like summer,
Full of warmth and ease and joy and gladness,
That sets the image of a long white nose and two big ears
Above so many other things I care for.
There is a dog place in my head and there my thoughts turn.
And in my mind I see the beautiful expression
Of two round eyes which seem so full of kindness,
And of tenderness and humorous ideas.
And I know that it is really a reflection
A mirror showing what I want to see.
And I know I might sometimes see, also, sadness,
But it's only there because it's a projection,
A belief the dog's in sympathy with me.

Peace and Furniture

When the hurly-burly's doing
And the anger in my head
Is swirly, whirling, and renewing
Thoughts I wish would fly instead,
Because this constant, endless brewing
Seems quite pointless
Then, I lie upon the bed
And look at Auction catalogues and lifeless
Things, though not quite dead,
Bring peace.
For here I'm viewing
Time made solid, priced but priceless
Objects crafted and before me spread
According to an ordered number showing
Sense can be established and a thread
Drawn from a dresser to a faultless
Piece of china or an ancient painting. Knowing
That the taste and knowledge of a man who looked ahead
And saw that these were worth collecting
Reaffirms my sense that nothing
Matters.  Beauty isn't truth just pleasing.

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Teaching Tolerance to Class Two (two rondeaux back to back)

Are you sitting tolerantly, then we'll begin:
Now, find a partner everyone,
That's right we're going to have some fun,
Oh good!  You must have read my mind,
All same sex pairs. Now, do you find
Anything odd about this, John,
Does it seem wrong to like someone
Who is just like you?  When you've done
Pulling Leanna's hair, remind
Everyone
What we call it. That's right, gay. None
Must use that word, meanly and one
Or two of you are mean behind
My back.  Put those fingers down, kind
Children don't swear.  Damn! Bell's gone
Everyone,
Come back here at once! Right, that's it!
No playtime.  Oh all right , (little shit!)
I do know it's your human right
(To go outside and start a fight)
But today we must try and fit
Our tolerance class in. That's it, sit!
Now, shut up! We must not commit
Acts of intolerance, alright?
Come back here!
Nobody is allowed to quit
No notes from parents; the spirit
Of tolerance will be taught. Write
This: I have no choice.  Conor, don't bite
Lee .(These bloody kids are the limit)
Come back here!


Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Graveyard


If God is love, He's in the graveyard buried,
Out among the leaning stones, moss covered,
And underneath the brambles making hedges
Over ancient graves which now are wild waste.
But He is not Romantic in His presence,
He dwells too at the edges, by the field,
In  new land divided neatly which seems smothered
By small graves of shiny black or speckled granite.
If God is love He dwells among the gaudy flowers,
Far from the ancient yews, in open space,
And in the shale and brightly coloured  gravel,
Alien to the beauty of the place.
For love is not less love when it inhabits
The souls of those unsubtle in their taste.



In Praise of Rustic Brick


October light and sun's slant rays, and pink
And peach streaks in the west; elicit
From the fired clay a warm response
A glowing call, at end of day,
From russet, gold, marl, terracotta.
And if it sink into the earth
Without a painting of the sky,
Because the cloud strains every sinew
To hide the red behind the grey;
Then still, at least, sun's heat 's implicit
In the rather duller colour
Of the iron oxide, copper;
As if each day, brick might attest
To the existence of the fire
That changed it from the soft and plastic,
Baked it hard and made it rigid.
So that we who gaze upon it,
Feel a happy reassurance,
That the burning at the centre
Of our life, our whole existence
Does for now, at least, continue.

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Some Dreary And Bleak Thoughts Which Occurred On A Lovely Day

I wish to leave no trace of me behind,
Save a happy recollection in the mind,
Of each of my four children, who will find
It hard to remember me, as I am now,
With every passing year, and anyhow,
Will make me fresh and new when I am dead,
And I shall be a figment in each head,
Constructed to a different set of rules,
Which would govern how motherhood should seem,
A woman who is mostly just a dream,
A pair of laughing eyes, a croaky voice,
A set of rather dreary ideas,
A random group of sketches, each the choice,
Of any given moment of remembrance,
Diluted and confused throughout the years,
Until even that poor spirit disappears,
And then I shall be nought, not even air,
Which is the height of my ambition,
The opposite of coming to fruition,
A total annihilation and a severance,
Which sounds rather like a counsel of despair.

What to do About Mrs Houston

Is she the better part of me,
Like valour, the discretion
And if that' s so, how can it be?
What benefit repression?
Though valour isn't Ali' s thing
She just likes having fun;
Mrs H. must always bring
A cloud to hide the sun.
And quench the flames of silliness
With sober, grown up thought
And cool things down with chilliness,
Or, as a last resort,
Switch Ali off, keep her inside,
Imprisoned for weeks on end,
And make her cower down and hide,
And never recommend
Her for parole; its always her decision,
But when at last
She' s free again, then Ali goes doolally
And makes herself a target for general derision.
So in steps Mrs Houston,
Who calm things down and yet,
She's never really beaten Ali:
At least she hasn' t yet.

Sunday Morning in December.

The plain below the church is green and grey,
The sun shines and the bells are eloquent,
'Holme on Spalding Moor, Come to church today;'
A scale descending from the dominant,
Appeals to, summons, the healthy and devout,
The farmers, and the wealthy, those who drive,
Attendance being limited here about
To those with cars; those without must thrive
As best they can or find communion
On level ground.
                               In black and holey tights
The organist ascends the stairs; in unison
The congregation sing.  Through leaded lights
December sunshine pours as Alex plays,
And twixt the hymns o'er iPhone bows and prays.

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

'It is Only a Very Shallow Person Who Does Not Judge By Appearances' Oscar Wilde

Your eyes, which are your soul,
Made manifest, unfathomable,
Defying scientific explanation;
Express in pools of blue or brown,
Round, moist with brilliance,
And fragments of reflected light,
Your very essence:  your whole.
To find a gaze impenetrable
Is merely to avoid confrontation,
There is no fleeting thought so quickly flown,
That leaves no evidence
Of its flight,
No trace residual in the coal
Black depths of pupils. For each inimitable,
Unique and transient manifestation
Of thought is known,
Finding its mirror in the onlooker, whose excellence,
Whose skill in guessing right
Your emotion, is illimitable.
And thus your eyes are by definition
The second person singular, a pronoun
Made physical in the face, speaking in silence
The language of consciousness: insight.