Monday, 20 November 2017

The Hospice of Autumn

Bedside in the hospice of Autumn.
Late sad flowers hang on the last breath.
The russet leaves of an exfoliating cadaver 
float down upon a frosty quilted sorrow.
That crushed ice sparkle of Spring, 
tight in hope of buds,
a dream.
Sleep now my lovely,
for Autumn has passed away.

Sunday, 19 November 2017

It’s for the best

It was her grieving for dad
that brought the doctor.
Guilt at the death of your cariad.
Me? I’m just an interlocutor. 

It’s for the best.

The psychiatrist said they might
be able to fix the depression,
no, no, the anxiety, right?
Alas not both. So try the medication.

It’s for the best.

At the threshold of the ward
you were smitten by the stigma.
Frozen to the spot. Statue hard.
I pushed gently, “Come on, it’s OK Ma”.

It’s for the best.

For weeks the anxiety was a tragic comedy.
You did not want to be there.
“Take me home” an aching tragedy.
“You’ll be better soon”. “There, there”.

It’s for the best.

Side effects, so the district general.
The mad lady calling in the far end bed.
Different pills, joint and several.
“I wish I was dead!”. “Shush now”.

It’s for the best.

Back in the “mad house” she said.
The pallor of another sad pill.
Our hearts bled.
She did not deserve this. Still,

It’s for the best.

Weaker and weaker, week by week.
Rattling between each hospital.
Growling now, unable to speak.
The care, ever so gently regimental.

It’s for the best.

A bed blocker, so,
if it’s OK with you, then we suggest
a geriatric bed, more
suited, and then the quietness.

It’s for the best.

A wraith now, with a patch
of morphia, fast asleep.
Then the sangfroid all-night watch.
The last appointment so to keep.

It’s for the best.

The last breath we did not miss.
Then the wait. For another that did not come.
The warm, cold and final kiss.
Goodbye mum.

It’s time to rest.

Friday, 17 November 2017

poetry in emotion

by the emotions engendered in a poem 
everyone will surely know
that what they thought
they did not know 
they know now
that they had known that
and that they had known that all along
poems engender emotions don't you know


Thursday, 16 November 2017

seasons

autumn battens down for winter
even as it eyes the spring
summer reborn in spring
even as it falls for autumn
with winter in its eyes

childhood years of wonder
wonder if life will ever end
end in old age then remember
that the ember of youth is dead

seasons the very spice of life
since the ticking of time began

Monday, 13 November 2017

Man and boy

I am going to kiss them he said. And he did. And I did. Didn’t we? Oh, I could go on and on, but the time warp is closing. Why? Because it doesn’t work. It doesn’t work for you. It doesn’t work for me. It doesn’t work. You kiss your girls
and mine will kiss me. 60 years apart

Come

If a poem has a lock, then bid it depart.
Do not fumble over the combination
of words that might drop the tumblers.
No.
Embrace the poem that unlocks your heart,
that bids you enter,
"come on in, no need to knock".
Sit with them long into the night,
in tock with the grandfather clock,
quickening the remember embers,
so that when they flare,
you may lock them in your heart,
the words the key upon a look.

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

The village in 1950

<Audio>

The village remembered, of moon and sun,
of pulpit and pub. Trains that pass in the night.
Saddle tanks that rape the whistle darkness,
below the running sores that gutter
the white guts out of the fox-stoled village.

Firemen, soaked in red sweat, shovel coal
into the boilers on the single line,
released by the signal box key,
handed, signal man to driver, pouched and shining.
Sliding along the frosty rails between
Dante’s cupolas, belching and flickering
under the pulse of clouds. Tall chimney fingers
that claw at the coke sky. The sulphur,
the sulphur, the colour of old men’s phlegm.

The pub men, dart-shadowed on the window,
or in silhouette, busting their way to the outside privy,
their pint-sized thoughts running one handed, 
down the stalls, 
groaned in deep breaths down the walls of their valley.
The morning, through the bottom of their glasses,
glows far away, sad upon their laughter.
The raucous goodnights to bed,
until their work boots beat the wet pavements of dawn. 
The dusk pubs, the light at the end of their tunnel vision,
a thirst throughout the day, today and every day.

The classroom children flutter, and leave the sun
to wander the empty slag-stoned streets,
the cobbled soles of the village.
Polished on every doorstep by scarfed mothers
with pails full of gossip and knowing nods
of so and so, and so it goes, on and on.
Father, mother, daughter, son.
Chapel, church and pub.
The beauty of the beast,
that was my village in 1950.


Cat a tonic

the sun purring on my armchair
in the yogi of the morning
our secret moment
warm
I smooth you to slumber
and then I follow
as the sundials the day

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

the window pain

dark and stormy outside
bright and dry inside

outside the storm subsides
inside the dark tears well

again

to sting the pages
with the wheals of my words

dark and stormy inside
bright and dry outside

open the window wide
and let the thoughts reverberate 

Sunday, 5 November 2017

now is the winter

how a fresh snow sward
does cover thorns however hard
years of tears do atone
longing resurgent going home

Saturday, 4 November 2017

Penultimate month

Leaves litter our poetry,
at this time of year;
composting the mind.
Leave them there.
Spring is brooding.
Doesn’t take a poet to know it.

Thursday, 2 November 2017

The Mumbles yew is dead

<Audio>

Alas, the yew has been cut.
M&S must be built - no ifs or but!
So make way for concrete and cement.
The Mumbles yew? Its life is spent.

I did lament that this would be so.
I did protest that it should not go.
But although a Mumbles voice is oft down-trodden,
this soft red-berried yew will ne’er be forgotten.

And when, one day soon, you are in there shopping,
remember, beneath your feet its roots are rotting.
I am sure I saw British Legion blood,
raw and running from its trunk in flood,
yet no quarter for the past was given,
for with shopping now is our village riven.

Was there no architect on earth,
who could have saved this spreading girth?
Why did M&S not aspire to be green,
to be the greenest store you have ever seen?
And provided shopping under the old yew’s boughs,
its branches trimmed along with ours.

Oh yew, and you, know what it could have been,
if we had saved this part of the Mumbles scene.
But no, too late! It’s gone, that part of us.
But, other than me, did anyone kick up a fuss?
No! NO!

So, do you see me as a relic?
Well, slowly do we all become derelict.
Ah! You noticed that does not rhyme?
What a pity that’s all you notice of our time.
Who said “our roots are our branches”?
Not M&S, I would advance.
For our yew was given no second chance.

So, another tree excised from the lungs of life.
Into the heart of the village they have stuck a knife.
Who will dare lay the foundation stone?
And for the yew’s demise over the years atone.
Who will dare cut the celebration bands?
And have the yew’s blood upon their hands.

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

R S Thomas

<Audio>

Why?
Because his words were the
candlelight in their tears,
the people of his years,
hardened in their land,
bowed under his dark sky,
he under his question, why?
Why am I still waiting
for His answer?
What is my place
in this, their place?
Forever on his knees he asked
again, and again,
why?
To which, I reply,
who else could? But

R S Thomas

Teddyboy

Here is a teddy boy,

drawn by my Freddy boy.

Are you ready boy?

Life ahoy! 


Grandpa.





Do you sea?

We embrace each day, out in the bay.
For there can be no other way,
to say - I love you deep sea.
Please, say that you love me.
Whisper it in the roar of your kisses.
But, alas, although I am your slave,
you will never be my mistress.

Friday, 27 October 2017

Chapel once the beatitude


<Audio>

Upon the going back
                                    to the village chapel,
that beatitude of old ladies,
their quiet reassurance
                                       of having pierced the veil,
for which the pub men in their smoke
                                                                   had not a laugh
not even for
                  the grace of the Sunday school teachers.
For they had grown away, as men do,
                                                           as we knew we would.
Must!

So.

We asked the deacon what is God?
And he said God is love.
We asked the deacon what is love.
And he said love is God.
Then we all walked away.

Now the chapel has a bramble collar,
a thorn crown, bleeding down upon its shoulder.
      Grass grown steps
                                      and a rusty handrail.
Windows of dry tears where the flaky paint
pricked as it snowed.

“No entry”
Cannot go inside – God forbid!
But the conspirator crack said look,
see the organ,
                        that cadaver white in a dusty shroud.
In a rictus of bared teeth, a sneer
      where once a wood stained veneer
reverberated to the hymns, and where
      cold bums sat hard,
             attending the sermons
                      with a wrinkled brow.

What now?
                    I saw a bird skull white upon a post.
What significance can a poet drag from that?
A child’s feral laugh at a sling shot trophy.
Probably. But still sinister in my dark thoughts.

                  Is that all this stone box is reduced to?
Even the pub has gone.
The angels and daemons have declared a truce.
Laughed at my pilgrimage to the locked doors.
My nails clawing at the plaster-shorn walls
of the hall where we laughed
at the absurdity of the Band of Hope,
                                                        even as we drank it in.

Oh, this bloody congealed dust,
the trespassers on our prayers,
our kicking and flailing at the jungle
of weeds that did fall on stony ground,
and yet have grown to choke the charity,
the swirling veils of the old ladies,
who held our hands
                                   in the snow-light walking home.

How can a chapel become deconsecrated?
Even on the cross the cry of “why?” was suffered.

I leave my shadow to keep watch over
my memories. To call me back should
any of the congregation return.
Piercing the veil – as they say.
To flow with spectral fingers pointing
                                                                   to the past.
Then I must and will return,
and on our knees
we will sublimate into the billowing dust
as our pasts go crumbling down.

Listen, listen!
                        They singing are in the Cymanfa Ganu.

Dear God, why did you let this chapel die?

Ask the deacon, why did you walk away?

Oh to be (by faith) deluded

Oh to be (by faith) deluded,
in the autumn of our lives,
when all our hopes lie denuded,
it would be so very, very nice,
to blend as one, with a swarm bees,
safe and sound, in their tiny little hives,
grains of hope rolling in a cosmic sea,
under a heavenly carapace.

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Autumn leaves

<Audio>

Dawn's slept breath upon my window lies,
truant in the morning sun,
and sliding wraith-like from my widening eyes,
inveighs of Autumn, dare not go on and on.

Stretching fingers of the early rays,
fair lie upon my face and toes.
Some petals stay, some decompose,
and so it goes, these middling days.

Empty-nested, jewel-webbed,
the condemned in silence mooch around.
Dare not even whisper Fall,
or of weather hard upon the Winter ground.

How can I break this spell,
this toll of fears, that in part
lies embowered around an ancient heart,
dead beat in dread of dumb Winter's knell.

Bad luck? To splinter this mirror isomer of Spring,
to fling, exalted, the golden leaves of a poet's tree.
The year's death, dulled opiate by these days, doth bring
a mahogany of smiles, for Autumn halted, upon a golden dowry.

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

infinity

                                                                                infinite   

 ∞      an infinite number of poems
 ∞         written by an infinite number of poets
 ∞             interpreted by an infinite number of people
 ∞          in an infinite number of their ways
 ∞     select your horizon and follow it to
                                                                                 infinity 

Monday, 23 October 2017

Why?

After the much-needed mass extinction,
following the energy of evolution,
something will look back
at our egocentric folly
and ask why.

Sunday, 22 October 2017

Tabitha












<Audio>

Tabitha.
                        Fast asleep.

Do you remember how you wept?
When you were a lone lost shadow,
with not one cold glance from
the tombstones
in the graveyard of kind words.

  What happenstance is this?

Snuggle down with me now,
and wrapped in the runes
of the catacombs,
doppelgängers of the twilight,
we will lay life's perfidy to rest.

  Together forever, and a day.

Saturday, 21 October 2017

come storm's spice

<Audio>

come storm's spice
in siren calls
swim against
the flow
the strife of tide
my lonely bride
there's no life
for us
without it
in it



Thursday, 19 October 2017

dark energy

<Audio>

upon the cinders of a midnight thought
in the back shack cobweb sheds
milked in the craw of the cow cat fields
thistled along the corrugated night
drawn to the black woods
nestled in chestnuts
fox streamed and crow nested
genuflecting to the edifice
of Tir John
of bricks uncounted
built by stone-dead men
for a million volts of power
humming this witching hour
lying blue upon the marsh
duck downed
in slinking sleep
the damned night unfurled
that sintered claw
that midnight cindered thought 

Monday, 16 October 2017

On the coast bus to Mumbles

<Audio>

The scream-spit sea in churning,
draws the pelted horizon down,  
and feral spumes the bus. 
   Not unlike the wind leaf scarf,
drawn around yon autumn girl, 
lonely and staring phone-ward,
on the storm-plough battling bus.
    Tight lipped in lipstick, period red,
face as pale as the white horse manes.
Until the sun comes a-sliding,
a lemonade of swallowed tears.
  Then “ding”, and trance-like,
she is off the bus, soon lost to us,
as we plod on and on.

Rebel 17 - 70 Rebel

<Audio>

Am I too old to be a rebel?
To be rebel without a cause?
We were back then of course.
We lived it, didn’t we?
Go back, now, without a pause,
and see how the rebel has been labelled;
see, they have given a label to his cause.
So, I guess, I am too old to be a rebel,
unless, unless, unless ...

I am! For today I have a cause,
(he bequeathed to me that cause).
And because that cause
arrived without a label,
(and label me too old to care),
then I am a rebel, aren’t I?
I did care
that I didn't care.
So there!

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Despite

Autumn deceive not!
Take off that rouge, that pretty skirt of leaves.
Bite with spite, in the winter white,
snarl and gnarl, down to the bone.

Monday, 9 October 2017

Monumental folly


<Audio>

And why are the graves so big or so small?
Angels pointing skyward with no hands at all.
Or standing rock-fast on feet with no toes,
in the crypt mists of autumn, dew drop nose.

And there lies a rusty chain carrying a ball,
pointed like a mace but with no face at all.
And angels, with frost-broken wings do yearn,
over slumped headstones, all golden embossed.
But see, there, a desiccated urn,
on a pauper grave, wooden and crossed.

And why are the gates locked on family mausoleums,
where their effigies in stone lie silently bedded?
And why is there a sculpted anchor with chain,
rocks and ropes, the white horse’s mane?
Set squares and dividers, here all the trades be.
But why on earth, should this matter to me?

Glossy marble phalluses, and angular obelisks are
lording it over lichen engraved and fading headstones,   
where, long ago, with dry tears was written,
the name of a child in infancy smitten,
or tell of the sad soldier who fell in the war,
or how husband and wife did pass hand in hand,
looking for their home in the promised land.

And why are the graves piled up so high?
Four and twenty black bones lie in a pie.
Too many for comfort at the closing gate bell.
To be in heaven is heaven,
but to be buried is hell.
So why remembrance in such a grand way?
To impress the ones left behind who surely will say ...
Why are the graves so big and so small?
Grandeur for some, for others, nothing at all!

Today, when on and on the grim strimmer grazes,
betwixt the grave grasses, splattering green blazers,
worn by headstone cricketers, long-shadowed and fielding,
or at the crease standing, just one last innings? 

With dusk comes the bone fox
trotting foxily home,
studiously ignoring,
until, when everything’s still,

crumbles the day,
in the twilight of gods.
Goodbye anon sleeper,
so tight in your box,
under your monuments,
be they big, tiny or small.

And reader remember,
what the tombstones say.
Death the dead leveler
is coming your way.


Sunday, 8 October 2017

Haiku

Poet at sunset,
avid reader of the dawn.
Our pages are numbered.

Haiku

A wormhole in Wales?

R S and Dylan Thomas.

The vortex of words.


Friday, 6 October 2017

No way back

<Audio>

The dirt-cheap tears of nostalgia,
cannot halt two hearts in flight.
They go forward or they crash.
As we did that remember night.

Cannot jump with sodden parachutes,
wrung of my tears, your tears.
Or fall back, or fall back,
down all the years, the years.

For the dirt-cheap tears of nostalgia,
indulgent in first-love-locked eyes,
are, unfortunately, a one-way ticket,
for what never dies, has died.



Thursday, 5 October 2017

The ghost of an idea


Prostrate on the ice sea of Ganymede,
something stirring deep beneath.
Aching, my clawing fingers bleed,
cut upon a sliver of that buried wreath.

That florid-berried grief of a mind dead-
sure that something must be said.
That something is pulsating at the core,
under an opalescent denial, indeed deplored.

There is an hypnotic, swaying cobra head,
quick of fang and venom - antidote?
Drill below the feelings of dread.
Drill through lifetimes of rote.

Drag the problem into a poem.
Address the topic, always there.
Pour your heart, at long last free
to roam, where

the sea of Ganymede is split asunder,
and, with flowers in our hair,
we blend and spin the essence,
of our embrace, with thoughts our fare.

Torpid of words, upon a sunlit bed,
in trance and upward glance,
submit to the cosmic happenstance,
of an: I see! Finally of its ambiguity bled.

Monday, 2 October 2017

Haiku Eye

I have just launched a new blog for Haiku poetry (3 line poems) along with an image for each poem.

http://haikueye.blogspot.co.uk/

Sunday, 1 October 2017

Haiku

Deep my corpuscles,

bleeding regret, aching, but

it was so long ago.


Haiku


Rain chuckling gutters. 
Curtains handcuffing the night. 
Summer dies in sleep. 

Saturday, 30 September 2017

Freedom

Sea swim.

Salt under the back scratcher. 

Red and green seaweed in the bath. 

Joy in my heart. 


Purple knees hold memories. 


Freedom to choose. 



Second childhood

Throwing back the comfort blanket,

the old man from his chair,

picks up on a conversation, 

with a small boy playing there.



Another Haiku poem

Swansea boy Dylan.

Always under his mantle.

Write you are then like.



Friday, 29 September 2017

Haiku

Dads are our prophets. 

They never, ever leave us. 

We are their freedom.


Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Haiku

the man with cancer
daily swimming in the sea
damned if it will!





More Haiku poems


childhood village tear
for away in the manger
Sunday school pinned

me see sea see me
onto me shall salt sea be
sea see me see sea

the cuttings blossom
not sure if to live or die 
problem of the root

verdant sedum rouge
on the wrinkles of autumn
will not melt the snow

Haiku poetry is: 



Mellow September?

My latest illustrated article on Swansea News Network 




Haiku


old songs are ear's tears
we remember how it was
and we hug again


Monday, 25 September 2017

The thing in the night


Just beyond earshot
the night will not say. 
It is creeping reptile black
a heartbeat away. 
Through the window now
and I'm under the sheets!

Sunday, 24 September 2017

Parking mad


Parking mad

I know said the Devil,
  outside the church,
     let's park on the pavement.

I know said the adult,
  outside the child clinic,
     let's park on the pavement.

I know said the far-sighted,
  outside the meeting for the visually impaired,
     let's park on the pavement.

I know said the running engine,
  outside the rehabilitation centre,
     let's park on the pavement.

I know said the fanatic,
   outside the gym,
     let's park on the pavement.

I know said the youth,
   outside the senior citizens club,
     let's park on the pavement.

I know said the unfit,
   outside of the playing fields.
     let's park on the pavement.

I know said the adults,
   outside the playground,
     let's park on the pavement.

I know said the mum's and dads,
   outside the school,
     let's park on the pavement.

I know said every driver,
   outside of common sense,
     let's park on the pavement.

No!
  said the little man,
     but nobody listened.

In that case, said the mob,
  let's get rid of pavements,
    I hope you are all listening!


Sent from my iPad

Saturday, 23 September 2017

Teenage


you stretched deep within the machine
reached way back to the source code
changed "you are the 1" to 0
and you broke my heart

Reaching for the word


Like the biggest blackberry 
just out of reach,
the words are never sweet enough.
So, describe the thorns, and
the blood will remember.

Friday, 22 September 2017

Down the seas of my history



<Audio>

Down the seas of my history,
the dreamboat ploughs the rolling waves,
the high tiers of tears,
stinging, just there, where I used to be.

Aquamarine in dream, but grey
in reality, the slag tips and the stone
where we played, short-trousers ragamuffins,
with mum waiting at home for tea.

Little light bulb station road,
haloed in watering eyes.
When darkness beckoned, adventure bragged,
and dragged in backward glances.

Pals we were, dwarfed by the ghosts
who were there. We knew. We stepped
onwards in the flow of growing up.
The round trip of home for supper.

The wooden bridge, the slag slashed path.
Our hurrying feet, sure but unsure,
span the wide-eyed orange moon, of Dan Dare,
up there, in a spacesuit full of bated breath.

Take not the chapel path, nor by the pub.
Meet not the prayer books or the beer blather.
But tread the boys' own secret paths,
of a communion, dark in conspiracy.

Knowing there's an answering to the village,
in the mist above the moon ways.
Where the book of times was written,
recording all our sins.

Even 'ere we shun the whispered rules,
even our mothers' solemn contracts.
So runs the demon spark of youth.
Go on! It is! Go on!

I could race around and down
these warren ways, for all my days and days.
Awash with sangfroid broken tears,
and the anguished love of years.

Long gone, and yet alive for always,
when we return in thought,
to our ruin in the ruins,
on the slag tips and woe betides.

Lay the ashes of my thoughts,
where the torn pages smoulder.
Lay them upon my village times,
and sprinkle over my slumber. For

I've been back there again.
I've hugged them all again.
And I will return there again.
To laugh again, and again, and again.
Surfing the tides of my history.
Running in mystery.