Saturday, 14 November 2020

Up On The Moors

 I met a man up on the moors,

In fog and mud and almost night,

In drizzle, dampness and in sight

Of no one else. No heather there, or yellow gorse,

Just barren emptiness and gloom

And yet on waking from this dream

I felt the scene had been my room

The chalky, grey green colour scheme

Through open eyes, while sleeping seen.

Who was the ragged man I met?

I felt, on waking, I had been

To make a pact, yet I forget

The nature of our strange contract.

Yet deep relief flowed through my veins,

I knew that things would be alright,

As if I'd burst my heavy chains,

And was now free and safe, despite

The lonely place I wandered in,

The only place with wonder in,

The place of dreams, which yet are real,

Which do not tell, and yet reveal

Such things we might not dare to know,

Much more than what they seem to show.

Thursday, 12 November 2020

Self Deception

 I thought I heard a curlew cry,

Beneath the dull November sky,

Somewhere above the drifts of fog,

Just for a moment, then I knew,

No curved billed bird would come in view,

It was a walker passing by,

Who whistled for his dog,

Instead. And yet it made my heart as glad

To hear that sound, as if I had

In truth experienced the bird

His haunting song, the one I’d heard,

Still filled my soul with pure, immense

Nostalgia from those hidden springs,

The geyser which with power flings

This sentimental substance through

One’s veins and up into one’s head

And so one is complicit in

Such self deceptions as improve

One’s spirits and elicit in

Oneself the comforting, Proustian mood

‘du temps perdu.’

Sunday, 8 November 2020

Not Silence, But Weeping (rondeau redouble)



When first we stood remembering, in grey November air,

In deep, thick mires, fogs, mists of grief

Despite stiff upper lipped despair,

We heard not stately silence, but in those moments, brief,

Collective weeping, sobbing, communal disbelief.

And generations later, we hear again, today

The sobbing of a people, who think on death, the thief.

When first we stood remembering in grey, November air

Still in our simple innocence, we did our best to bear

The loss, and vast incompetence of little men in chief

Who’d used us ill and with contempt and acted without care.

In deep, thick mires, fogs, mists of grief

Red poppied lampposts almost glow, among each life, each fallen leaf

To be replaced, yet not regrow, and freedom’s gone, we know not where.

Yet still returns a sad motif,

Despite stiff upper lipped despair,

We needs must lay our souls bare

 And weep once more for what we’ve lost and seek some means to find relief.

 For though a hundred years ago, we bowed our heads in silent prayer

We heard not stately silence, but in those moments, brief,

The weeping of a nation. And shall we say those men who fought may just as lief

Have given in, surrendered all? We would not dare,

Yet hypocrites, we will not fight, we merely dab a handkerchief

As liberty lies smashed, destroyed beyond repair,