strips of colour

strips of colour. pic

 

2001 a striped green odyssey

new house, new walls – frontiers to decorate

make our own in the image –  of us

a thick chalk stripe and pale green

no harbinger of climate change – no prescience

just the primitive urge to alter and overwhelm

previous incarnations and their orthodoxies

so we set about the newly stripped walls

with paper and paste then cut lengths

hanging chads of green and chalk vertically aligned

 

2020 suspecting it is time, again, for change we

erase the intermittent green enthusiasm

and come up to speed with the colour of now

having sat in bed on sundays with the papers

our backs, virtually, against the wall – blase about our choices

the passive tapestry unflinching at world events

solemn in its duty to conform to our sense of what

should decorate the space where we have been most intimate

the cuts into corners where we swore at each other for incompetence

have settled into our own folklore as we dare to dream of something other

than green

thank-you

Thank-you. pic for poem

 

sometimes

enlightened witnesses drift by

and save us

from darkness and the weight

of sorrow

which can grip at any soul

that dares to float

beyond the moral compass

and those of us that have been lost in space

salute those guardian angels

who sprinkle us with dust

 

those good people who are

unwitting parents

in times of need

who were ” enlightened witnesses”

live on within us

but you know

so much of this is second-hand

so much spent air in search of truth

and I can’t claim to own it

or know it or be more than

receptive to whispers

Offerings

Offerings

 

I know a little, not a lot

but I can lay words at your feet

and hope that you will let them in

nourish them and give them shape

in those long strides we take

in hope, in friendship and shared trust

so that in the fullness of time

we too may become united

in the soft transfer of a love that speaks

so quietly that if we travel in haste

we may damage it in the slipstream of self interest –

that selfish gene that threatens to deny

all the gifts we care to give

man of the world

swiss army knife

 

she’s going up to do the do

I’m not the man this house should have

the bathroom lights are on the blink

and I’m downstairs making coffee

 

she comes down and looks for tools ( avoiding me )

goes under the stairs and turns off the juice

goes back up armed with a torch

and I’m down here stirring coffee

 

it’s quiet now, no doubt dark upstairs

though there are noises and a commotion

then she returns confused

it’s a mystery, annoying  but she’s put them back

 

so I’m sat here in the error of my ways

not quite composed because she

‘heart’s beating wings’

will come back to me with more energy

 

more things to do because “you know”

the dog won’t walk itself

the washing is in a pile and dust

accumulates with a vigour we must contest

 

these Bank Holiday week-ends

are such a treat and

the weather is a bonus but still it’s best that I

maintain a low profile when anything is to be said or done.

Start me up

Start me up. pic

 

 at first light untrammelled by fear

the first thought, that fragile thing

is wary in the unfolding moments

before the day expands

into a precious arc like a fisherman’s net,

cast wide;

and it should always be an optimistic sweep

of eyes not yet occluded by doubt

limbs not yet bothered by gravity

and a heart willing to pump

fresh energy to gather-up

the mornings catch

a walk around the cricket pitch

a walk around the cricket pitch. pic for poem

 

on and on the breath, in columns, goes

onwards as if marching to roam

beyond far walls and more beyonds  than an Irish spell

and in the margins crickets make their chirrups

of beating wings but I hear only silence and solemn air

and my wife is exasperated that I cannot hear them

as their agitation is all around,  so she tuts,

making her own boundary wall of sound to admonish me

for my deafness to the cricket’s pitch

and I wonder as we perambulate whether

I am lacking in other ways and whether

monogamy is all they crack it up to be

after all this time living in sighs

perhaps I have been caught Leg Before Wicket

a premature end to my meanderings

never mind . another circuit. more raucous appeals

and we’ll leave it all behind

the umpire at the centre and the scorer at the margins

a wide open door – and dreams

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