Why we poppy

A red flower on your breast
Feeding thoughts of war
A century of life lost young
Defending freedom

In European mud the first seeds
Bloom among youths’ blood
Ensuring rights and laws upheld
Defending freedom

Yet wars and wars again
Beset our Earth, doom our kin
Piling dead poppies on the pain
Defending freedom

As a century of poppies passes
Blurring right’s, a little out of focus
Battles reign for Aurelian
Defending freedom

Travel, Greek

In the deep blue sky there is that white sun that shines so it burns the tiles between our sunbeds and the pool
After breakfast mum and dad play catch with me and all the other kids who stay in this hotel in Kokkari
Last night I ate octopus and squeezed it’s suckers in my teeth and waited for it to wriggle but it didn’t it was fried
On Sunday we are driving up a mountain to a cave
Where mum says Pythagoras was an early believer in triangles
And all the beaches here are lapped by water that’s crystal clear and lets me chase the different fishes which swim near
On the plane that brought us here my ears popped and I wanted to stay at Gatwick but now this is such a lovely place to stay I wish I could.

Scamper the rabbit

Our big, fat, white rabbit
Called Scamper
Has short white ears and pink staring eyes
I like feeding it carrots or lettuce
But Scamper likes sunflower seeds best
Our uncle Bill says Scamper’s too fat
And would be better off cooked
With carrots and broccoli in the pot
But mum’s promised we’re not going
To eat him; no matter how big and fat Scamper got.

Your Music of Play

Hum you hum
As you break the bricks
Building your buildings
And cracking your tracks
I love listening
As you do what you do
Dreaming big dreams
And making amazing
The trains, the robots
The castles and cars
A world in our front room
Stories tall in stars

Lostening

We blink at each other
thru some fug of confusion
The slow eyeball roll
to a grasp for conclusion
I hear your noise distant
As when wisps of mists cloud
All the words that you say
And I blink in ascent

Some time some time ago
we sang the same lyrics
Your accented verbs
lit my mind with loves fire
Attuned to the vibrant chords
Lept from your full lips
I wondered the musical
majesty of breath

Yet here we sit side by side
Tone deaf and mystified
Straining to glean
just a semblance of sense
I hear you, don’t get me wrong,
My ears are not yet deaf
What i hear is not quite though what your tongue likely meant

From the mouths of babes

Plastic dolls

My daughter’s dolls have got no clothes
I’m trying not to freak
And when I ask her why
She smiles
and makes the wretches speak

I do not like the clothes I have
They really ain’t for me
OK I say to placate her (them?)
Yet she continues this ventriloquy

It’s all the pink and gold she pines
I don’t like it never have
It’s what they sell in the shops I share
Well they should sell more choice – she says – Daaaaad!

 

Autumn 2016

Apparently it’s autumn in Otham
Though nobody’s told the sun
A parched carpet of crunchy leaves
Adding the “Shh” to our school run

Crunchy leaves

Pop

You know, he’s the most enormous person there is in the whole wide world.

Where is he?

The music is fading.
Truck’s stopped and everyone else is getting off, entwined in mums and dads,
so where is he?
You glance from big grinning face to big laughing head… Nowhere!

Try not to panic!
It feels empty now.
Gripping hold, tight, to the bar.
Afraid to stand, you fight back those early tears
and bite your bulging bottom lip.

Two huge hands reach in.
Click. You’re free; those hands, in your armpits, thrusting you skywards!
A reassuring bass voice
“Hello Twinkle! You enjoy that?”

“Dadeeeeee” you squeal,
beaming your best tooth-filled Beam back,
as he hoists you snuggly onto one arm and presses you against his wall of chest, for a carry!

Now that you’re three,
your arms easily encircle his tree-trunk neck
and you both sail along past other tempting stalls and flashing rides.
“Dinner soon” He harrumphs, close to your forehead
as you quietly de-panic and enjoy the comfort of the best ride in the show
– your best daddy in the whole wide world.

Party at Aunty Kayes 1932

Party at Aunty Kayes 1932

Lost Girl

Worldly lonely
This girl caught sadly
Bleeds and crying
Drawn from lightness

It’s her light
She’ll quit tonight
In this quilt of night
Her last flight

So she goes
Good girl gladly
No one misses
Or asks where she goes

Over (tribute)

Play it slow; wake me when it’s over.
Feel the music lift you, love a supernova.

Sleep is quiet.
Sleep is quiet when I’m with you.

Faking love: Push me I roll over,
feel so warm inside – join me in a Rover.

Floating past, gone further than ever.
Quiet, dark, solitude.
Now the moments over.

Dreaming still,
Standing still, dreaming that I’m with you.
Now the feeling’s over.

Passing

Blue panes filter white light through
In your eyes the reflections within
And this time I’ve lost it
I’ve lost all this time…

One night which flew quick was won
Sleeping with you I tried keeping
Alas my frailty shone
All pleasantry’s gone
The night was soon morning
When it’s my time to go.

Alison

My pretty dame.
I will meet you again
again.

Sometime
in distant time
refrain…

I love your eyes
your sweet smile, pretty,
and quietly close
I sing this ditty.

Cranky Old Man

Having been duped by a touching ‘story’ with a fantastic poem at it’s heart, I made further investigations and found, what I think is, the original source of that poem. It has captivated me so is my first pressing of someone else’s work.

The original version of the poem:

Crabbit Old Woman

What do you see, nurses what do you see
Are you thinking when you are looking at me
A crabbit old woman, not very wise,
Uncertain of habit, with faraway eyes,
Who dribbles her food and makes no reply
When you say in a loud voice –I do wish you’d try
Who seems not to notice the things that you do
And for ever is losing a stocking or shoe,
Who unresisting or not, lets you do as you will
With bathing and feeding, the long day to fill
Is that what you are thinking, is that what you see,
Then open your eyes, nurses, you’re not looking at me.

816px-Elderly_Woman_,_B&W_image_by_Chalmers_Butterfield

Photo by Chalmers Butterfield

I’ll tell you who I am as I sit here so still,
As I used at your bidding, as I eat at your will,
I am a small child of ten with a father and mother,
Brothers and sisters who love one another,
A young girl of 16 with wings on her feet
Dreaming that soon now a lover she’ll meet;
A bride at 20 – my heart gives a leap,
Remembering the vows that I promised to keep
At 25 now I have young of my own
Who need me to build a secure, happy home;
A women of 30 my young now grow fast,
Bound to each other with ties that should last,
At 40 my young sons have grown and are gone;
But my man’s beside me to see I don’t mourn;
At 50, once more babies play around my knee.
Again we know children, my loved one me
Dark days are upon me, my husband is dead,
I look at the future, I shudder with dread,
For my young are all rearing young of their own
And I think of the years and the love that I’ve known.

I’m an old woman now and nature is cruel
’tis her jest to make old age look like a fool.
The body it crumbles, grace and vigor depart,
There is now a stone where once was a heart
But inside this old carcass a young girl still dwells
And now and again my battered heart swells
I remember the joys I remember the pain,
And I’m loving and living life over again.
I think of the years all too few – gone too fast,
And accept the stark fact that nothing can last.

So open your eyes, nurses open and see
Not a crabbit old women look closer – see me.

Phyllis McCormack, 1966

*

Amazing right!

It has, apparently long been circulated online as some remnant of a forgotten life of presumed little value, found by nursing staff checking a checked-out patients belongings… However the true history and author are explained via http://www.hoax-slayer.com/cranky-old-man-poem.shtml.

 

Inside

Groan
Pain seeks to find a source
Caught
In the process no one ever thought
Shunned
Left in the dark to find the self inside
Corrupt
So much self inside – better to hide

Inside

One More Song

One tiny verse
sung tight-lipped,
as it all gets worse.

Lost the bounce,
gave spring away –
Time tears at my eyes
and squeezes my day.

Thoughts pound my brain,
old thoughts; so sad
as still I clasp
at lives I’ve had.

Short painful routes
are all I see:
They scream my name
to recapture me.

Still the light dances
just out of my reach
so I follow the shadows
that lead from the beach.

Moved

In pseudo-darkness
we scrapped and flapped,
catching streaky rays of light –
odd fragments of the sun.

We sat there –
this living hole –
glimpsed life through blinking eyes,
through a smoke so dense with grins,
so heavy and so wide.

As our hours
flicked,
slowly
on –
as our eyes flickered
idly around,
as our liquid minds closed down,
cold.
I think, here in this night, we’ll drown!

Slumped at dawn
I woke with burns.
I woke!

Fire’s here…
But not –
this heat is sun, is light
is hot.
So clumsily we rise,
we yawn;
we eat and leave this scummy hole.
We open out into the morn.

Cheerily? No…
But brighter for light,
glad to escape the weights of last night –
the long times spent listening
to low and lowly noises:
outside sounds of dark,
of confusion.

We’re out, we smile
we disperse
for the day.

Green people from Roman arena london

Key words

Relax!
Kick back,
take stock,
unwind.
Accept where you’re at:
ease the fret
from your mind.
Take an open account
of your life
and of those
who make colour and add
to the light of our kind.

Stay focused,
directed,
keep rhythmic
and new.
as open to change
as the clouds are to blue.
Be free
in your head.
Be steady
be true –
During spiralling lies
sincerely be you.

Compass

Laughing free and easily
I look to you;
to see the questions raise
within your eyes…
knowingly, and fast as light,
the answers plain –
The future is not clean…
…It’s Dynamite!

Sweet as love
and tasting fine
the nighttime grows.
Giving into passion
giving in to
all of your
tomorrows

Happiness is there to hold
A fool shouts loud.
In the night his shout
sends shivers –
turning still necks cold.

Falling Through Flaws

Please carry me home,
yours truly alone –
I’ve fallen in love
with a drowner!

Catch me when I’m smiling.
Chat whilst I’m beguiling.
I’m sure I’ll screw this
like my last loss…

I’m sad in my flurry,
so sorry this hurry,
a tosser I’m sound
and unbeaten.

This last chance of love?
Girl fits like a glove –
in the image of pleasure
and loving.

Duet

Light up the night
when you bring what is right
to the back of this slight
blood location
Go on light
shine so bright
This your light in my slothen night

Mine was this music
Your laughing made me sick
The tunes which I’d trick
For your tuneless ears

The scribbles of music
A mix and rewrite script
This music you hated
Your light saw me blind
I can’t play
Pluck the way
Not the way that you wanted thru’ day

This is our failing
your light and my wailing
for a tempo regarded by most
as absurd
Let us finish
this sour dish
A time to replenish and go our own way