Thursday, 21 November 2019

On One of The Blessings of Occasional Double Vision

An autumn morning,
Brilliant after rain,
The long grey skies
Restored to blue again,
A flock of geese appearing from the left
Flies in Prussian style formation.
But in retreat,
Across the fields of mud and mire
And blurred fields of vision as I tire,
And in the pastel air and rising higher,
Become a stunning, crowd, a congregation:
Diplopia, migraine made
Turns little flock,
To mystical, synchronized murmuration.

On Reading Reports of the Recent Floods


I did not know that you were my true love,
Until I glimpsed you, unexpectedly,
And felt my heart beat speeding, as my breath
Was put on pause and I compared
The printed image of your pastel sky,
With that beyond, around, above. 
I saw your light, which changes imperceptibly,
Held captive on the page and as I stared
Recalled the decades of its loveliness gone by
Which bound me to you, likely unto death.
And yet you only featured here, in your beauty
Because you’d acted badly by my fellows,
Had acted in accordance with your nature,
In wild abandon of your regulated duty
And filled yourself with calm and glassy water,
To make a mirror for your pale washed heaven,
To place it on your surfaces in patches,
Reflecting autumn’s buffs and golden yellows.

Wednesday, 6 November 2019

Heavenly Blue



I long for paraffin, coloured blue

I hold it up in imagination
Comparing Mary’s gown,
The sky, the cut up velvet curtain,
Finding them all wanting
In my obsessive concentration
On the shade, of which I’m certain.

I don’t need the heat from the stove,
Or the rival shades of the flame,
Too much like Calor gas,
Though pale,
The row of triangular teeth 
Dancing, not guttering, 
On the wick underneath.
Do I need the fumes too,
Some strong scent to inhale?
Or is it just the look I should remember, 
Of loveliness in a five gallon can
Off white, translucent plastic?
Just something about the liquid hue
Against yellow chestnut leaves and larch
And piles of orange-copper beech
That feels like Heaven,
Childhood essence of November.

Monday, 4 November 2019

Alas, Poor Claude!

I have been mis-sold a faulty cat
And one other, 
A/f or ‘as seen’.
It is much older than was claimed
By the charity, who said it was nine,
When in fact it’s fourteen.
It has rather worn out teeth,
And its heart has a gallop,
So needless to say, 
It is not a cat that ‘gallops about doing good’,
Though it hails from Hull, via ‘Hull Animal Welfare’,
It has nothing of Stevie Smith’s famous character about it,
It may once have scratched an angel, though I doubt it,
It just lies beneath a chair,
In desperate need of repair,
And never does anything funny,
Sans energy even enough to be mean
To its brother, 
And it doesn’t move when called, 
It’s had a stroke,
And I don't mean an angel reached down and made it go bald,
I mean it couldn't walk and its brain was all foggy,
It is the most anaemic cat the vet has ever met
And cannot produce a red blood cell
For love or money.
And when I rang the charity and asked for pity,
They just said, ‘tough titty,
You knew it was no spring kitty,
Just a shitty old moggy
Caveat emptor, and all that!’