Mother

Mother. pic

 

In the garden leaning against an old water tank

that we use to contain the roots of decorative bamboo

leans a wooden cross with a small brass plaque

which marks the fact of my Mother’s passing away

on the 26th of July 2014  “Wally” Much loved by all

It is my own last claim on my mother whose selfless love

was most evident for all the time I can remember

so there it is – like a lighthouse that radiates a soft lament

even as I grow old and speculate

on the dwindling circumference of my life

I feel it’s pulse. Her very own eulogy

and know in time my time will come

and I too may be a legend leaning

in a garden somewhere still thought of

in a beating heart

Pearls

Pearls . pic for poem

 

I want to speak of miracles

enunciate my awe  at modern things

and give thanks on this bright day

that I am present  to behold

the gifts that shower me

day in day out  but

not seem fey, too abstractly thoughtful  or naive

it’s just that looking out of the bedroom window

I see our neighbour basking in the sun

a misshapen homage to beauty  with his beer gut

his paean to gods and mercies

quite evident in the pose

the shrubs, the seedlings and all that nascent growth

almost showing beneath his feet, his hopeful yards long stare

and I am struck by how much we have in common

and not

how we differ, on the edges, in the beds

in matters of colour or politics, his children at private schools

with hopes for higher things

but we are just morsels – innocents in the food-chain

as that Thrush on the lawn teases out a long fat worm

and a Robin inflates his or her breast in warning

the birdsong reverberates with sweet nostalgia

I must soldier on  just one day farther

in the rain

A common neighbour

A common neighbour

 

I would be better served

to play a simple part

and forget any notions that

stretch to gravity, wit or pomp

 

it would also serve me well

to know my place

and reside there in peace

for I have a restless energy

 

and a mind full of buried treasure

all of which renders me

a danger to the gift

that was bestowed

 

when my mother first released me

and I took air

and a place in the world

next to you

DIY

Get a grip.jpg

 

I spend my time engaged

on Home Improvements

it’s tiring work this self absorption

incessant, monotonous and repetitive

and if I’m honest, for all the huff and puff

I’ve botched it

I am not polished or buffed

or what my son would call ‘hench’

I’m grey and lined and display all the hallmarks

that come with age

Will this disappointment  turn eventually to fear?

I am rust on the smooth haft of a padlock

it’s sheen a parody of atomic numbers

that emit pulses – half lives – I’ll take them

let me glow

I just need a minute to be myself

I’ll put down those spanners and that wrench

I’ll be less morbid

I’ll sparkle

just before

I put all the tools away

The inevitability of beauty

The inevitability of beauty

 

wind seething chases its tail

mock fighting in a demonstration

of how futile it is to resist, meanwhile

bamboo bends like a vaulter in pursuit of personal- bests

and the sun is benign, spectating as if this

were all an earthbound diversion

 

nature lends a hand here and there

the magnolia flowering now reminds me of Mum

whose birthday came round eighty nine times in late March

and the wisteria buds fat and tight waiting to erupt

and the daffodils have walked their cocky yellow strides

so now the garden centres are looking forward to bulging tills

 

this truly is the time of sap and surge when

I am quiet, watchful and wanting to be on the manifest

as a passenger going forward; am I willing and primed?

do I have what it takes to qualify for the ticket and can I

just let nature take its course

Of course I can. I must

A letter home

A letter home. pic

 

time passing

opaque

like a shroud

we can see it move

it shimmers with

an echo of our transgressions

precious but not forgiving

and without the generosity of a smile

 

I am trapped by nostalgia

the faded warmth of remembered thoughts

where-in the past has forgotten

the marching band of

acolytes goose-stepping forward

and left in a mould marked melancholy

where future movement

has lost its traction

and left me smooth

as a tiny beach stone

eyeing the braying tide

White Out

White Out. Pic for poem

 

Look

how they glide on an ocean

those stick-men and women in suspense

on  surrendered snowflakes

so demure

they abase themselves to blades,

their pressure, cutting swathes

in arcs. A ballet for butchers

Those slopes. No place for feint hearts

for those that can, will, take a tilt at heaven

and those that can’t will tumble

on the  white-down drawn tight

as a sheet raised around the mountain’s flank

in that rare air

accentuating the blue above

Below, in the cleave of the valley

patience waits for spring

to draw down the melt and wash away

the lost and lingering shapes

their whispers and screams

their murmurs, echoes and endearments

as colours regain the heights

A virgin’s flight complete