The gravestone says it all –
Dulcie, loved wife of Paul. She is
safe in arms of Jesus;
loved until hell freezes over;
mourned and missed forever.
Another could never replace
her face, her smile, her grace.
And Paul would take the space next her
when he goes. But I fear,
it being one hundred years ago,
we’ll clearly never know
if Paul moved on to hoe a new
and different field. For see,
lichen covers Dulcie’s name; dank
her space. Paul’s stays blank.
When birds begin to sing
I know with joy that spring is near.
Somehow, this time of year,
the birds join up in pairs and build
nests, lay eggs in song-filled
days, feed, are never stilled lest
the fledglings leave the nest too soon.
Fresh things are everywhere!
Flowers bloom! Fruit forms! The air – it cries
new life! And butterflies!
And bees! Yet here, in my old, spent
winter of discontent
I must not not forget to turn
the page, the page, the page.
How long the shadows fall
this breakfast time. How tall in height,
(as if in evening light)
the fence posts stand, as might night guards,
freezing in sun’s weak shards.
A bitter morning. Hardened ice.
Desolate wind with vice
-like grip, ready to slice the heart.
For me to light the fire
is to admit that you’re not here.
The early morning’s cheer-
ful warmth that only yesterday
you lit, your final day,
before the Fates held sway and snipped
your thread of life, and clipped
forever what bound you to me.
How long the shadows fall
this first breakfast time.
Fall evenings fall so soon;
the windows closed by noon, shut tight;
the curtains drawn lest light
too weak invades the brightly lit
and cheerful space. Flame flits
in hearth to warm, uplift the heart,
with smell of soup, jam tarts,
fresh bread, all a la carte fireside
dinner. Yet TV guides
demand the day’s world-wide newscast.
A bomb kills over there,
eight soldiers die somewhere, and far
away fancy film stars
rant, silken voices jarred with beeps.
A drug-drugged druggy weeps;
some politicians speak about
corruption. Stamps and shouts
and blood and hurts and pouts invade
the family room. Love fades.
Fall evenings fall. They’re made for guilt.
Now that summer’s over
I’m a season older, and find
each summer season mines
less memories. It’s kind of sad
to think of times we had.
The heat-strewn days were glad when we
were children; so carefree,
chasing bees, climbing trees – the days
all melded in a haze
of ever-sunshine glaze. And yet…
It’s easy to forget
age casts far wider nets to catch
a varied vaster batch
of joys than those dispatched to girls
and boys. For in life’s twirl
of memory there swirls wise dreams
far deeper, so it seems,
than younger days we deem as fine.
Here, in my autumn time,
(I thank this God of mine) there calls
no need to live it all again.
The wind that broke the branch
forced it to twist and dance before
it died. And what is more,
it stripped it to the core and slashed
its leaves and bark, and bashed
it ‘til it snapped and crashed upon
the ground. Its life had gone.
Death ended all the fun the wind
The young girl danced at his
command; her captor’s wish;
his power; his lust; a dish; spittoon;
his weekly afternoon
delight. She fell quite soon. He spread
her legs and shot her dead,
a bullet to the head. He’ll get
another bit of meat next time
he goes to town.
(The form of this poem is based on the Vietnamese Luc bat. The poem was “driven” by the abduction of 110 schoolgirls by Boko Haram in the Nigerian town of Dapchi).
The path from my front door
is lined with maybe more than flowers;
each bloom bud stands somehow
for love, or joyful vows, or truth…
Since ancient times virtues
lived nestled in a blue or red,
pink or white, petal bed:
love felt but never said, for fear;
the grace of rue; the cheer
of daisies; phlox that cares, adores!
And yet my pathway walk
is lined with silent thoughts, harsher
than thistles of a marsh;
despair that wilts and lasts; bereft
of hope, since when you left;
footsteps fading, heart cleft, too late
to lock the garden gate,
too late to hide the hate that seethes
along the path, in trees,
in flowers, in seeds, from my front door.
All day I think my ears will catch
the lifting of the latch.
[Many thanks to Uma for the beautiful photograph. Uma is a wonderful writer (and photographer).
The form selected for this week is an adaptation of the Vietnamese Luc bat. It is an adaptation of the poetic form because Vietnamese is a tonal language and it cannot be imitated in English. The syllable count and the rhyming pattern have been adhered to!]
The dahlia opens slow
before it makes a show, bright red,
and then the full-faced head
bends down towards its bed and bows;
as if to say the hours
of fleeting life somehow are short.
Its beauty comes to naught
as petals fall uncaught and die.
Some say each flower shall leave
a cob, a pod of seeds, a cone,
from which will spring the bones
of new flowers, new fruit, grown; and yet,
lest ever I forget,
my death shall not beget new grain
to grow in hope, in pain,
in love, in loss, in gain, in joy.
(The form selected for this week is an adaptation of the Vietnamese Luc bat. It is an adaptation of the poetic form because Vietnamese is a tonal language and it cannot be imitated in English. The syllable count and the rhyming pattern have been adhered to!)
Let me make one thing clear:
it’s not been a good year for flies.
It’s cold and each fly dies
before they can lay shit-pies and eggs
upside-down with their legs
stuck to the ceiling, pegged up there.
I’ve a good mind to swot
at the several I’ve got, but oh!
I think I’ll let them go;
fly free, you flies, but know one thing:
to pet cat food don’t bring
an egg to make a single maggot.