Saturday, 25 March 2017

The Cloud


This one's not filled with dreary rain,
This one is not like cotton wool,
This one is clear, invisible
And yet can easily be seen.
It is the great collective pool
Of thinking heads, which is our tool
Of choice, the indivisible
Whole, the merged, the well combined.
It has no centre, and no means
By which to shape its whole structure,
Yet each drop of human knowledge,
Each piece of wisdom from each mind
Furthers, changes, freshens, cleans.
Whole, made from sums of parts,
No rules in this richest college,
Just ideas meeting, blending,
Seamlessly and never ending.
Specialising and refining
Legitimising and defining.
The means by which we grow and aid
The growing of our fellow men,
And yet regarded with disdain,
Contempt:  it lends itself to trade,
The great resourceful, human brain.


On Westminster Bridge 23/3/17



Earth has not anything to show more sad
Dull would he be of soul who could pass by 
A sight so touching in its misery:
This City, oppressed woman, burqa clad
The blackness of our mourning, silent, bare.
Ships, towers, domes, theatres, and temples lie 
Open wide to violence and the sky; 
All undefended in the smokeless air
Never did sun more sorrowfully steep 
In his first splendour, valley, rock, or hill; 
Ne'er saw I, never felt, a calm so deep! 
The river glideth at his own sweet will: 
Dear God! the governments asleep; 
And all its cowards tongues are lying still! 

Friday, 10 March 2017

Rapid Cycling

The sky was streaked with pink,
At six twenty five,
Which made me think
There was joy in being alive.
And I was full of happy ambition.
But by six twenty seven
the sky was dull and pale grey
And my glimpse of Heaven
Had become a premonition
Of a pointless, crappy day.

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Spring



Today I have been mostly
Painting the coal stains on the Chinese carpet, chrome yellow.
Using Dylon fabric paint, 
But it may as well have been emulsion.

And yet this strange compulsion,
Which is part of spring cleaning and lent,
Restoration, resurrection
Is not really a sign of insanity,
It is quite artistic and intelligent
And the sort of thing Duncan Grant and Vanessa Bell
Might have done, and not even needed to justify their actions
With historic argument
In favour of Chinese yellow in an 18th century, English drawing room.
And it is cheerful and looks forward to daffodils 
And sprigs of forsythia in the blue and white vases on the chimneypiece
And banishes winter gloom.

I know other people's reactions 
Might be less appreciative, and that they may think old cocoa spills
More suitable additions to the colour scheme
Than my efforts to capture something of the garishness of the carpet's pre coaly days.
And though the original shade was more subtle,
Less gorse or skip or number-plate,
Still, there is a certain authenticity
A certain realistic Chinese flavour,
A dash of visual monosodium glutamate
About this one and there's nothing wrong with a little eccentricity
If it is an act of preservation.
And besides, I have been wearing grey tweed all winter.