Goodbye Old House

It was a dark moonless night

when the clock struck noon

and the cat turned and looked at me twice.

She shot from the room

like a bursting balloon

waving her tail in the air.

(To be fair she had done it all week,

every night, but I hadn’t paid much attention.

I’m too tired out to much care).

The door-frames kept clicking,

the floorboards were creaking

and the clocks were all ticking too fast.

I followed the cat

(I’m adventurous like that)

and there, by the fire,

sat the family choir

smiling and telling their tales.

(I remembered their songs from before)

They were the old ones,

the aunts and the uncles,

who had lived long ago in the Valleys,

and no-one had told them

that they weren’t alive any more.

I wasn’t surprised.

Everyone dies, in their time,

But I knew this time wasn’t mine,

so I bowed myself out of the room

while they hummed a gentle old tune.

I knew beyond doubt

it was time I moved out

so I picked up the cat

and, smoothing her cares,

I tiptoed slowly downstairs.

We sat on the step

all night long, in the wet,

and I sang a new song in the rain.

I wished there had been a full moon

but when it’s time to move on…..

well, it’s time to move on, just the same.

There is no going back there again.

Old moon, new moon, half moon or sickle,

the removal van can’t come too soon for my liking.

No one should live in a sad mausoleum.

So I’m burning their boats, like a viking.

Hidden Daffodils

the day is dim and poorly lit,
clouds are gathering in the west,
the leaves are shivering on the trees,
my shoes are worn, my pockets thin,
there’s no money left again,
the forecast warns of storms and rain

the shadows underneath the trees are full of hidden daffodils

the windows creak and draughts blow in
how bad can this old house become
there’s not much here to laugh about
this sort of joke is lost on me
the tap is dripping in the bath
the fire wont light, my cat is sad,
she’s curled up in a huddled ball
there’s nothing left to eat at all

the shadows underneath the trees are full of hidden daffodils

counting blessings I find some,
there’s still a roof above my head,
i still live, i still breathe,
my head is full of memories,
i can think, i can dream,
and winter always turns to spring

the shadows underneath the trees are full of hidden daffodils

Lucky Boy.

Mr. What-Was-His-Name
Had many Things
He lived in a house
Very fine, fit for Kings,
But the doors folded inward
And never lead out.
I ask you, my friends,
What was that all about?

The boy on his doorstep,
Had flowers in his hat.
He sat on the doorstep
And talked to the cat.
The cat said his fortune
Lay out in the fields.
The boy on the doorstep
Was happy with that.

The boy wandered off
In search of a wood.
He whistled and sang
As he went on his way.
His only thought was
‘What a fine day!’
When he was hungry
The berries were good.
He never did anything
Quite as he should.

When the night fell upon him
He looked at the stars
They hung high above him,
Over his bed,
Where he curled himself up,
Under a tree
And slept the sleep, of the just
And the dead.

Mr. What-Was-His-Name
Had many Things
He lived in a house
Very fine, fit for Kings.
But the boy, in the morning,
Woke up with the lark.
He shook off the dewdrops
And sprouted fine wings.
Lucky is he who whistles and sings.

Escaping Tyranny

the cat always vanished as the man approached
hiding in the shadows as quiet as a mouse

the house fell silent, the walls became all ears,
leaning, straining forward, the better they may hear

the fear of his footsteps, coming closer now
i stayed very still, my expression was a mask

my thoughts were my own, untouchable, my home
a cat will vanish, i could only wait

confronted by this hatred
i  escaped,
i had learned to levitate

The first little story I ever wrote – which grew into a book

The Day Moon Met the Raven

A man who had for some time been travelling the road in all weathers, sat down at the roadside under a sheltering tree. His jacket was richly embroidered but his leather boots were dusty and worn from long walking. He had little coin in his purse but his pouch was full of papers covered with poems and interesting thoughts gathered here and there. He was tired, too tired to even be capable of assessing his own mood at that moment. He was, he thought, probably content.

As the sun sank and dusk fell he looked up and saw the moon rise and he realised that it was the Autumn Equinox, when the length of the day and the night, darkness and light, are equal. As he relaxed and watched the moon climb higher into the sky his mind drifted and he began to assess his own life, dispassionately. His memory drifted here and there across many years.

Awakening from his trance he realised that he had been joined by a white cat and a raven. He thought they must be hungry and began to feel in his pocket for food of some kind but the Raven, seeing his intention, said,

”Sir, don’t let us trouble you, for we are not hungry. We came to sit beside you only because your appearance interested us.”

With that, they began to discuss him as if he was not there, but also as though they could read all his thoughts.

The cat said ”He seems to me a miserable man with a sad life. Look at his boots and the lines that run down by the sides of his mouth, Raven, and he clearly has no money. I would say he is a terrible failure. He has nothing. He looks homeless and I am convinced he has no wife and no children.”

She paused to clean an ear with her paw and looked thoughtful.

” I expect he has travelled much too, and those types who keep feeling the need to move on seldom manage to keep many friends. Doubtless he is also unemployed or he wouldn’t be sitting here dreaming. It all looks like doom and gloom to me. How very sad! ”

”Squawk,” said the Raven, cocking his head at the man and considering, ” I see him quite differently. I see a man with laughter lines round his eyes and he clearly loves beauty, just look at the jacket he wears! And he may not have much in the way of coin but he is generous with what he does have or he would not have begun to search for food when he saw us. He is kind I think. He does seem to have a lot of papers in his pouch and I suspect, by the dreamy look in his eyes, that they are poems so maybe he has, not a job, but a talent. Also he is tall and strong and I doubt he lacks for food. I suspect he is also armed, a dagger slipped into his boot perhaps.”

The Raven hopped onto the man’s shoulder to get a closer look. The man smiled at that.

”As for being much travelled, well yes, but is it really true to say that a rolling stone gathers no moss? True, he probably has left friends and loved ones behind, but just imagine all he has seen on the way and all of the people he has met. I think he has had a rich life and must be happy and could even be congratulated.”

The Raven and the Cat then proceeded to squabble and the man feared the Raven might be eaten, so he spoke.

”May I interject in this argument for the sake of your peace?”

”Yes, please do”, said the Raven, hoping for an end to the fight and some wisdom.

”I suppose so” said the Cat, shrugging and sounding gloomy, ”Much good may it do, for I expect none.” She sat grooming herself again, looking bored.

”Well” said the man, ”It seems to me that you both see things from only one point of view. You, dear Cat, are entirely negative and this charming Raven sees only the good and the positive in all.”

”So”, said the Cat, expecting to lose the argument, ”Tell me I am wrong then. Go on.”

At that the Raven looked pleased but sighed in a way only a bird can.

”The truth is,” said the man, ”that you are both right but without each other you are both wrong.”

”How so Sir?” said the Raven, looking puzzled.

”I am both happy and sad.” the man replied, ”The sum of all you say is true. But if only the negative was true I would just sit here and give up and if only the positive part were true then I would have learned nothing. The positive and the negative work together in my life. Joy is my desire and I have often had it but I know that sorrow, which I also have had, can bring depth to feeling and we can’t appreciate the one without the other. So I sit in the middle and am content. We all need balance!”

With that, the man stood up.

”I will continue my journey now”, he said. ”I wish you both well and safe paths.”

The cat turned her back and pretended to look at something else, as Cats always do when embarrassed and the Raven said,

”Sir I will come with you if I may. I have always liked travel. I sense that you are restless at night and perhaps when you are tired I can lighten your day?”

The man smiled and nodded his head. As he began to walk off he said, under his breathe,

‘’Gold leaves spin, falling, bringing sadness and delight. The balance is held.’’

 

 

Wayfarer

when i am fire
i burn away anger
when i am tree
i bend with the wind
when i am water
i wear away stone
and know all the wise ways of flowing

when i am cat
i narrow my eyes
when i am dog
i am joyfully willing
when i am horse
i turn with the wind
this is my freedom in going

when i am hare
magic is mine
when i am raven
i watch still and clear
when i am wolf
i see who you are
this is the seeing of knowing

i will leap, bend and flow,
run, turn and go
return as i please
see what i see
magnetic paths pull above treetops
clouds cap the mountains that hide me
dark cool shadows in water
hidden things amongst leaves
as i make my own journey
i follow these old ways alone

water is a life giving blessing
the trees shelter us, breathing
the lone wolf protects the pack
energy runs with the horse
the world is mirrored in the eye of the raven
hidden, unhidden, bidden, unbidden
the hare runs the path of the circle unbroken
running fleet foot in pastures and hills
on horseback i chase the illusive hare
while the raven sits still in the oak
and watches, waiting for me

 

 

Animals

I had a cat, shy and nervous,
afraid of big boots.
He had been kicked i am certain.

I had a dog, strong and loyal,
afraid of large crowds and noise.
He had been beaten for sure

My horse was afraid of nothing.
At the sound of a post-horn
he would be off, without me.
He would kick down any stable door,
and gallop, strong-headed for fields.
He could clear a five bar gate
when the wind blew his tale.
But gentle and mild to me, at rest,
as the dearest of lambs,
his ears twitching to the sound of my words
with his head on my shoulder,
falling asleep

I loved every one of them,
my horse, my cat and my dog.
They gave me themselves

Magical is Not the Word

there is a time
for slipping through
where two worlds meet
the fair folk have a name for it
a name i will not tell you
it must remain unspoken

there is a time
the wind keeps turning
here and there
all the cows are restless
dogs bay at the moon
owls hoot in chorus
moths tap at your window
the cats wont let you stroke them
the horse will kick at the stable door

the word means wonderful,
open, charming,
delicious, exciting,
delightful,disarming,
beautiful,
unhinged

on the edge
of the dark wood
i sit
holding my breath

The day Moon met the Raven

The day Moon met the Raven

A man who had for some time been travelling the road in all weathers, sat down at the roadside under a sheltering tree. His jacket was richly embroidered but his leather boots were dusty and worn from long walking. He had little coin in his purse but his pouch was full of papers covered with poems and interesting thoughts gathered here and there. He was tired, too tired to even be capable of assessing his own mood at that moment. He was, he thought, probably content and in balance.

As the sun sank and dusk fell he looked up and saw the moon rise and he realised that it was the Autumn Equinox, when the length of the day and the night, darkness and light, are equal. As he relaxed and watched the moon climb higher into the sky his mind drifted and he began to assess his own life, dispassionately.

Awakening from his trance he realised that he had been joined by a white cat and a raven. He thought they must be hungry and began to feel in his pocket for food of some kind but the Raven, seeing his intention, said,

”Sir, don’t let us trouble you, for we are not hungry. We came to sit beside you only because your appearance interested us.”

With that, they began to discuss him as if he was not there, but also as though they could read all his thoughts.

The cat said ”He seems to me a miserable man with a sad life. Look at his boots and the lines that run down by the sides of his mouth, Raven, and he clearly has no money. I would say he is a terrible failure. He has nothing. He looks homeless and I am convinced he has no wife and no children.”

She paused to clean an ear with her paw and looked thoughtful.

” I expect he has travelled much too, and those types who keep feeling the need to move on seldom manage to keep many friends. Doubtless he is also unemployed or he wouldn’t be sitting here dreaming. It all looks like doom and gloom to me. How very sad! ”

”Squawk,” said the Raven, cocking his head at the man and considering, ” I see him quite differently. I see a man with laughter lines round his eyes and he clearly loves beauty, just look at the jacket he wears! And he may not have much in the way of coin but he is generous with what he does have or he would not have begun to search for food when he saw us. He is kind I think. He does seem to have a lot of papers in his pouch and I suspect they are poems so maybe he has, not a job, but a talent. Also he is tall and strong and I doubt he lacks for food. I suspect he is also armed, a dagger slipped into his boot perhaps.”

The Raven hopped onto the man’s shoulder to get a closer look, thinking that he had remarkable peculiar ears, but discarding the point as irrelevant for now.

”As for being much travelled, well yes, but is it really true to say that a rolling stone gathers no moss? True, he probably has left friends and loved ones behind, but just imagine all he has seen on the way and all of the people he has met. I think he has had a rich life and must be happy and could even be congratulated.”

The Raven and the Cat then proceeded to squabble and the man feared the Raven might be eaten, so he spoke.

”May I interject in this argument for the sake of your peace?”

”Yes, please do”, said the Raven, hoping for an end to the fight and some wisdom.

”I suppose so” said the Cat, shrugging and sounding gloomy, ”Much good may it do, for I expect none.” She sat grooming herself again, looking bored.

”Well” said the man, ”It seems to me that you both see things from only one point of view. You, dear Cat, are entirely negative and this charming Raven sees only the good and the positive in all.”

”So”, said the Cat, expecting to lose the argument, ”Tell me I am wrong then. Go on.”

At that the Raven looked pleased but sighed in a way only a bird can.

”The truth is,” said the man, ”that you are both right but without each other you are both wrong.”

”How so Sir?” said the Raven, looking puzzled.

”I am both happy and sad.” the man replied, ”The sum of all you say is true. But if only the negative was true I would just sit here and give up and if only the positive part were true then I would have learned nothing. The positive and the negative work together in my life. Joy is my desire and I have often had it but I know that sorrow, which I also have had, can bring depth to feeling and we can’t appreciate the one without the other. So I sit in the middle and am content. You need balance!”

With that, the man stood up.

”I will continue my journey now”, he said. ”I wish you both well and safe paths.”

The cat turned her back and pretended to look at something else, as Cats always do when embarrassed and the Raven said,

”Sir I will come with you if I may. I have always liked travel. I sense that you are restless at night and perhaps when you are tired I can lighten your day.”

The man smiled and nodded his head. As he began to walk off he said, under his breathe,

‘’Gold leaves spin, falling, bringing sadness and delight. The balance is held.’’