Nobody Can (NaPoWriMo day 19)

The Well of Wandering Companies,

The Towers of Silence,

The Four Daughters

(Virgins perhaps?)

The Way of the Guns,

the Djinn of Two Masters.

Inevitably, to our shame,

It is both sad

And terrible that,

Even if they wish to –

Nobody can hide forever

These days.

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.

Express? NaPoWriMo: Day 13

There it is,

Ticking, temporarily settled;

Longer than the platform.

Beckoning, sighing, impatient

To be flying the rails again:

Locomotive to the right,

Atop the bridge:

The home of the power,

The place all motion begins

(The capital, driving, letter

In a back-to-front sentence).

The coaches line up,

And there is the calaboose.

Me? I am reflected in

Carriage windows;

Surprised because

I was beginning to think

I’d missed all of these chances,

Journeys, risks…

.. and reflections work two ways,

So, as she steams onwards, outwards,

Am I on the seat, leaving,

Looking at the platform?

Or on the platform,

Left behind, doubting

Again?

Across the Water

Man hangs, happily distracted,

From a dream of smoke.

In another world; his

Friend is at one end

Of a fight-tense line.

Between them a woman whose

Skeleton is a charity-shop stool frame.

Across the smooth water

A thin stick holds up a man.

Me? I’m here; balancing unsteadily

On a reflection that shifts and

Cannot possibly be me

I’m not that colour, I’m not

That rigid, that tired, don’t

Look as old as the water

So faithlessly shows.

Daughter Mine.

Maybe –

She realised it so suddenly,

It actually caused physical pain –

She’d spent too damned-long

With her sleepless head

Inside a dark box of quiet,

Chocolate-bitter thunder

That echoed and repeated,

Stitching restless days together.

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“What Will Your Verse Be?”

 

This  comes courtesy of blogger Dyan Diamond who posted this

http://wordpress.com/read/post/id/45100490/1504/

Being both curious and not a little inspired I had to look it up, first the wonderfully imaged advertisement, then the Walt Whitman poem which is voiced so perfect-well by Robin Williams.

So ,take a peek at the ad, remember I am not a great fan of I-pads (but shamelessly use one when it suits me!) and then read the original below.

Muse with me and as I did, whether it is better to have the images put before you – as is done so creatively in the ad – or to simply imagine your own.

I don’t even know what I think myself any more.

By Walt Whitman 1819–1892 Walt Whitman

Oh me! Oh life! of the questions of these recurring,
Of the endless trains of the faithless, of cities fill’d with the foolish,
Of myself forever reproaching myself, (for who more foolish than I, and who more faithless?)
Of eyes that vainly crave the light, of the objects mean, of the struggle ever renew’d,
Of the poor results of all, of the plodding and sordid crowds I see around me,
Of the empty and useless years of the rest, with the rest me intertwined,
The question, O me! so sad, recurring—What good amid these, O me, O life?
                                       Answer.
That you are here—that life exists and identity,
That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse.

Alarm.

The strident telephone bell exploded into his sleep. Broke into  his dream., where it was an alarm on a ship. And he staggered out of his bed into the corridor. Which became the half-remembered armoured claustrophobic corridor of a military ship. Which pitched and tipped as the ship, something like a destroyer to be moving like this … his waking mind was trying to make the unconscious inhabitable. And the destroyer was beginning the nautical equivalent of a racing hand-brake turn and his stomach was rising towards his throat. So he grabbed the big circular handle that, when turned would water-tight the rooms beyond, as he gazed into the …

…. control room of a Russian submarine, with transparent battle-stage screens and computers and the iconic periscope mount.

The telephone rang again. A jarring old-fashioned Rrrrring- Rrrring of bells. Now he was awake.

Who could be ringing at this time of the morning? His mother? Presumed somewhere on the way to Australia to stay with friends? The plane ? Oh God, please let everything be OK … the silent unformed prayer. One of his daughters?

Oh God …

“Good morning sir, this is Chris from …”

Highly accented voice. Cheerful, but somebody called Chris could not have sounded less like somebody called Chris if you had given them two sacks of diamonds and a winning Lotto ticket to try hard not to sound like Chris.

His mind now was working in different directions. Part of it relieved  that the call was not from his family; part of it angry that he was being disturbed from a good sleep – and one he really, really needed by some idiot cold-calling. Part of him remembering another glorious time when an alarm bell had burst into his dreams. Dreams that were not entirely dreams.

Between lucrative jobs. Away from the wife he loved and the six-month old child that had turned their lives into a wonderful new phase he was loitering on the Bergen harbour front. Interview completed, nothing particular to do, nowhere to be for an afternoon.

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A One Shoe Pony

Windswept, hungry, choked and blue,

Headin’ for home with a one-shoe pony –

Both of us more about shadow ‘n’ hope

Than muscle and soul –

Limping along the briar’d banks

Between ancient railway-becoming-fossil

And another sunset-mirror lake,

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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;

DSC_0066

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reflections of

Freedom’s forgiving tides

Turning over:

Simultaneously

Bright and dark:

Determined to avoid bitter

Silence; to exact the very

Opposite of Vengeance.