Sweet Rose

in my mind,
and in my heart,
in my soul
completing,
i know she blooms forever

sweet rose,
so entwining,
unbounded,
unrestricted,
all life’s joys defining

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Boys on a Bus

rumbustious rivalry,
clowning for all they are worth,
jangling hormones,
uncertainty,
nerves and bravado,
the boys at the front of the bus,
huddled and pushing,
their shoulders colliding,
create a passengers nightmare

the girls look on,
full of disdainful glances,
dreaming of their brothers best friend,
the sixth former at the back,
quiet and serious
and oh, so desired

i feel a deep urge to tell them,
wait longer than that
before they awaken your heart

boys are slow in their growing
and some never know
they have that journey to make

but i only sit, making a note
in my constant notebook of life,
my smile benign

Song for my Rose

When we first met she was a bud,
growing on the wayside,
but that was long ago
in days so near forgotten.
I didn’t see her gleaming.
My mind was far away
and she grew out of season.
In trembling ice and snow
her heart was hidden.
I was dreaming.

Now she is a full blown rose
and she exudes a scent so strong
so passionate, so haunting,
no man could e’er resist her.

I’d brave every storm that blows
but, growing in this peaceful place,
this flower could bloom forever.
And yet I had to pluck her.

I took her, my eternal rose,
to make my own, possess her.
I will never crush her.
I look at her and I’m inflamed
My soul, in swoon, soars high above.
She is the heart of my desire.
She will always be to me
a rose that glows in glory.
She is my own sweet sighing love,
the bloom that I will treasure.

Shifting

Ah, how it wounds the heart
to see the old ones shuffling
homeward through the park,
stumbling and insecure,
clasping their meagre shopping.
pausing at every step,
with no welcome home at their door.
The British winter is here.

Look at them.
Show no contempt,
for they are the tired warriors
on the slippery, frosted edge
of a road you too will tread

Lay still.
Listen to your breath.
Sweet sound.

The old lay still in the dark
listening to the singing
of the blood that flows,
pulsing through hardened arteries,
imagining the end.

Outside, in the city streets
young men try to sleep,
huddled up with a dog,
for the sake of body warmth,
but the cold keeps creeping in.

Ah, how it breaks my heart!

In the back lanes of Marrakesh,
it’s time for the evening meal,
time to share the broken bread
after giving thanks to God.
Eight hands reach to one plate.

The old man in the corner
rests on a low sedan
amid cushions of faded flowers.
His daughter strokes his head
and feeds him the best of the dates.

They told me there was once a time,
upon a time not so long ago,
when the porch of every rich man’s house
was a shelter for the poor.
The doors were left unlocked.
I vaguely remember that.

In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
a pleasure dome decree?
He never invited you or me,
as far as I recollect.
It’s covered in satellite dishes now.
The minaret’s derelict.

Ah, how the world keeps shifting.
Ah, how it greives my heart
that the balance is never right.

Can you rely on the place you call home?
Do you trust the tectonic plates?
Have you heard how the ice caps melt?
Do you think you’ll avoid the drones?
Will we blast ourselves out of existence?
Did we make a huge mistake
when we declared the gods are dead?
Do you ever get scared in the night?

Pharmacy Fog (no pain, no gain)

the doctor is a robot
his chest is full of little drawers
where they replaced his heart
the day the sales rep glided in
and explained it all to him

he’s programmed with prescriptions
and has no finer thoughts
he looks as if he listens
but the clock is always ticking
and he’s built to silence talk

he’ll take you to a special place
you’ll feel no mental pain
(he never heard the saying,
so he’ll cut you off from gain).

he’ll disconnect your soul
and cast you into fog
to wander down a hill
where nothing really matters
except the little pill

he keeps the money coming in
he keeps the coffers filled
he controls your will to live
but offers no real help

i hate him, i despise him
he’s a door that leads to ill
replace him with a place of love
where we can scream and shout
and cry and sob and kick the walls
and let our feelings out

replace him with a caring guide
who never tells us what to do
but quietly leads the tested way
to open up and grow
and finally be real

help us find our inner truth
for god sake let us feel
push me as you will
but i for one,
i swear to god,
will never take
that fucking little pill

Wild Heart

They thought that they could tame my love
and keep all for themselves,
they never understood my heart.
My heart is not so small.
I spread my love throughout the land,
unwilling was my hand
to make a pledge to never part.
I am too far-seeing.
Don’t try to tame me to your will.
We are just beginning.
If I stay with you my love
you’ll know my heart is willing.
I’ll stay until you’re leaving.
Let’s speak no more of grieving.
I will fulfil your yearning.
My love is in my being.

Five Ways of Seeing an Apple

in the age of innocence
when apples had no names,
i lay beneath the shining leaves
where ripening apples swayed,
abstract, out of reach

this was long ago
before the autumn play
when apples could be tossed
and bobbed
and used as cannon balls
or fashioned into dolls
dressed in summer frocks

as an icon by Magritte
an apple’s just a thing
making man the hidden one
his eyes obscured by leaves
everything we see
hides another thing

Alfriston and Pippin
Billie Bound and Russet
Braeburn and Brown Snout
They revel in their names
Catshead and Pearmain
Juice runs down the chin
Peasegood’s Nonsuch, Bountiful,
Cider in the press,
Bramley and Blenheim,
In the ancient orchards
Beside the winding lanes
Beneath the White Horse on the hill

sharp and sweet or bitter
green or red or gold
nestled in the palm,
roundness you can hold,
when you cut it open
an apple shows it’s heart

My Heart

my heart is no longer an open book
not even to myself
it’s in a language i can’t read
the pages keep on turning
the pages are well-thumbed
I am tired of reading

i don’t know whether i should smile or groan
i am looking for a sign
a symbol
a fingerprint
that shows that it’s still mine
or is it yours
has it always been yours
all the time

to kindle a spark
of recognition
on this dim lit path
i am seeking an illustration
of a crossroads
in the dark

Turn and Return ( a doubled Etheree)

the unwounded self, at the heart, is still
in response to circumstance we turn
between the worlds we move as one
chased along by thrusting time
only surface changes
perhaps forever
as i will be
as i was
i am
now
gone
and dead
if you are
in cold despair
i am alone here
we turn it round in faith
life runs like a salt hour glass
hours and days pass us by with speed
which world is real is a mystery
there is an open door between two worlds
there is an open door between two worlds
which world is real is a mystery
hours and days pass us by with speed
life runs like a salt hour glass
we turn it round in faith
i am alone here
in cold despair
if you are
dead and
gone
now
i am
as i was
as i will be
perhaps forever
only surface changes
chased along by thrusting time
between the worlds we move as one
in response to circumstance we turn
the unwounded self, at the heart, is still