A Marvellous Impression: NaPoWriMo (Day 18)

Imagine:

Me –

Away from the crowd –

In comfortable, bar-stool

Bubble.

Secret eyes

Are on the green table.

The barmaid,

Doing a marvellous impression:

Of somebody who is not bored,

Is not tired, hasn’t

Seen it all before.

Music runs from history,

Positives and negatives

Wrestle over the

Wrong-shaped ball.

I may have  had it all,

Along the way …

Now I don’t …

And none of it matters.

For Stewart

I try watching my thoughts;

There are those that say it helps –

But memories,

Like eager, bright eyed squirrels

That leap, in happy dreams

(Where time has no relevance),

From who-knows-where

Continue reading

To Light Again

Found in the cold-turn soil:

Just a sod-clamped half of nothing

Corroded scrap-of-metal,

Forged, used, cast away –

Misplaced perhaps – lost  these

Five hundred years and more …

Then brought sudden to light again.

 

“Don’t foul your ears

With the bad they say,

Don’t pass on the vitriol;

For down the lines of

History-gone-to-bed someone

Will plumb the several realities.

Be better if you don’t swallow the

Lies they offer, so glibly, today.”

Iron Harvest

Crops sown so many years ago:
Across miles,
One way,
Then returned,

Echo for echo:
Stony ground,
Killing fields,
Soft impact
Confusing
Simple fuses.
Mental blocks, reparations,
Seeds wait, forgotten:
Messages gone astray,
History not getting through.
Quietly, she leaves the shop
Walks numbly past lists of names.
The bell on the spring
Rings for a long, long time.
Iron harvest still being gathered.

All Your Sleep

While they stretch and preen,

Sweat and strut-strut-stumble

My finger is taking memories –

Click by click –

I am mentally repackaging

Versions of history,

Stacking facts

Picking opinions

Filing options for posterity.

Or is this just my ego? Continue reading

Walking Steadily Away …

 

That coming-in tide –

Be it blood, memory or saltwater –

Cannot always be friendly:

It knows nothing, after all,

Of shape, history or consequence.

We all know what we believe

To be true by the things

We decide not to let in… Continue reading

Been Away II

Lifted gently and efficiently by Lufthansa’s local jets from Birmingham to Linz via Frankfurt. “Ja zu Fra”: the busy hub where I just have enough time to make the twisting up and down journey between gates; hoping my luggage made it too (it actually didn’t last time and caught up with me later).

To a place where the sky and heaven are called the same thing, so that every time I think or talk about the sky I am also reminded of Heaven. It’s not a bad thing, when I think about it. Maybe we have too many words in English. Or not enough.

This is a return trip for me. I have seen this region in different seasons – and every one suits it. The dark skies (Heavens), clearly visible constellations and amounts of snow in one overnight fall that would (and does) bring my country to a chaotic standstill are routine here and decorate the rolling countryside magnificently.

DSC_0297 Continue reading

The Crocus Road

The small, out-of-history,

Far away lights in these

Big, darkening skies make

Reassuring noises; the shadows

Do not clash and threaten.

The horizon is a pale-line queen

Swooning beneath a ripped-tissue

Curl of early-spring-promise  moon.

The crocus road is longer, much longer

Than I could have expected and I start

To fall towards a gentle, butterfly death.

The Very Opposite.

It is fair to say that I do not usually explain my poetry. I like to sit and wonder what the reader makes of my words which leave my mind, my pen (for pen, read computer)

meaning something to me but will, almost certainly mean something different – and why not? – to you, the reader.

I am happy with this as a situation: we can all be right, perhaps.

But this piece is posted here as a tribute to Nelson Mandela and was written on the Victoria and Alfred Docks, Capetown after a visit to Robben Island, where I learned such a lot about the history I have

lived through. It reminded me that opinions can change with knowledge; that the best people do not seek retribution.

It was intended as a thoughtful piece: I had a great deal to think over, not least the glorious sense of humour of the guide (a former in-mate). It was not written solely about Mandela, nor, indeed for public consumption.

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The Very Opposite

Delightful play of

Evening light ripples

On Africa harbour water;

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Reflections of

Freedom’s forgiving tides

Turning over:

Simultaneously

Bright and dark:

Determined to avoid bitter

Silence; to exact the very

Opposite of Vengeance.

Shadows and Motley

That miniscule, gem-precious moment,

When the present isn’t yet history,

When today is not quite yesterday

But not quite turned –

As it must – into tomorrow;

Continue reading