Branch telegraph

Branch telegraph. pic for poem

 

I have heard it said that birds are far from amiable

as they go about their daily business, it is

not so that chirrups denote bonhomie amongst

the tree people, sky artists and majestic scavengers

it is not the tittle tattle of the corner shop or post office queue

not Mrs Jones intoning in rapid outrage of the ‘doings’ of those people

from Upper Hyde

” far from it” as a falling apple would say, if it could

they are in fact constantly squabbling over food, territory or

when the season dictates, sex

so rinse the romance out of your susceptible minds

those birds are just like the rest of us except

they fly with a grace and ease that we must salute, otherwise

they are no better than the clowns at number 43 Station Road

and so it is with these thoughts I enter in to another New Year

already going off

sat here entranced by the sound of rain on the conservatory roof

and the blending of water and suds from the washing machine

in the newly announced second decade of this new century

the changeling and the selfish seed, perception – pure and simple

I heard it from the birds

bad, bad words

bad, bad words. pic

 

I can’t contain my words

they are feral

and when I go out

they let me down

bad cats and dogs and birds

bad, bad words

you know, I once saw a man taking a parrot out for a walk

it perched on his shoulder attentively

looking at him with its sharp beak poised

and I wondered if it ever bit him

for the impertinence of taking  it out unfettered

attached to his shoulder so somehow – owned

the wild bird in its native forest – exotic

would protest,  preferring not to be tame

bad, bad words

they grow into characters, they assume persona’s

I glimpse them as they frolic

I know them as they choke

a gale of consonants and vowels

incipient sounds like weather on the make

puddles of confusion – a mosaic of mistakes

I should have stopped to take a picture of that man

with that parrot on his shoulder so full of withheld

bad, bad words

and now my mouth is full of ammunition for another day

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

Simmering

Simmering

 

a white rag rides on the wind

flip flopping on the urgent breath

that rasps against roofs and eaves

as it complains against closed spaces

 

beneath all this I sit and stew

a quiet thing, compressed

alone in the vessel of my separateness

acquiring a taste for solitude

 

and gaze with growing detachment

at the scrap of white as it waves

with a careless detachment outside

receding into an unknowable distance

Take this morning

Take this morning.pic

 

A crow, darkly black, sits

on the red, rigid beam

of a child’s playground ride

 

A herald to rise

on a spell

mixing colour in the air

 

Sleek form glimpsed in a dazzle of blue

from the sheen on those wings

stealing away

 

Leaving static the surrendered plaything

for a mother to push

later in the day

a bulletin

abulletin.pic_.poem_

 

dogs in the park shamble in

snow that clings to their fur

in a vanishing jacket of ragged threads

 

one black lab does looping circuits

of the spreading quagmire in search

of a ball so disguised by mud it vanishes

 

deer stalk to a tethered pile of hay

left for them as a staging post

for their ancient rituals in this Royal Park

 

and on the High Street oblivious traffic

is cautious after snow and the evening news

where word has it that speech in Iowa is dangerous

 

whipped to a frenzy by a polar vortex

the wind in North  America

instantly freezes boiling water

 

by ‘eck, I wonder what my family

in Cumbria make of it

a ‘breeze’ to them I shouldn’t wonder

Crow

Crow. Pic for poem

 

oblivious black. a rag on a branch

and nonchalant at height

he knows the fall won’t kill him

for his wings will intervene and flap at the air

and make the lightness of being a natural thing

such ignorance, as I impute

is actually magnificent

implacable. mute. absorbed

it is only me who is troubled

so what if he wears black