Flood

i wanted love to stay and grow
but wishing never made it so

the tides have turned
and now the river’s in full flow
the water only runs downstream
the consequences just sank in

the clouds have covered up my heart
as islands slowly drift apart

the land will flood
and i sit numb

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When the blackbird sings

You tell me of bad weather news
And how the price of food went up.
You quote the words of politicians,
I agree they’re open lies.
You worry there will be a drought.
I think about the falling rivers
And how the willows give it shade.
My mind begins to drift.

I know my eyes are far away.
I try to hold on to your words
Like broken branches floating by.
I sense a sigh you’re holding in.
Yes,
I’m doing it again.
I smile and look in your eyes,
Signifying my return.

You speak about the greater issues,
How your life is troubling you.
I nod.
You know I understand.
It’s true that life is problematic.
It’s true I’m tired of being strong.
I wish to tightly grasp your hand
And take you through another door,
The door that’s slowly opening now,
That leads into another land.
I hear your words,
I hear a song,
That echoes in the depth of pools.

There’s only one place left to hide.
The leaves are growing up our walls,
There’s mud and ash across the floor.
The wind that’s blown the window wide
Brings a scent of woodland paths
And bluebells by the flowing stream.
I can hear the blackbird now,
It signals that it’s time to leave.
My heart is very far away.
I dream of other worlds.
I’ve seen.

Lovers

if they walked
down the street
hand in hand
in this town
they would stop all the traffic
in no time

more magic than movies
their beauty surpasses this place

people may wonder
as the crowds part around them,
like water around an island,
why her mouth
has that other-world touch
that slight strangeness
he loves
so much

his smile looks like music
she walks like a river
his eyes dream of forests
there’s a glow, there’s a shine
in the softness of skin
that’s so hard to define

their words
are not spoken
but the birds,
in concealing
her wings,
overheard
their song

Dreaming Bob Dylan

I fell asleep and dreamed a dream.
I was with my old lover, we lay in bed.
The things in our room were re-arranged.
I said, ‘The bed side table should be here,
there is nowhere now i can rest my book
and the shelf is gone, and your memory jar.’

To get to this place we had travelled far.
I went outside and i saw where we were.
We were in a hotel by the Taj Mahal,
the shining white palace of love,
and a river flowed right past our door.
‘I have been for a walk’ i said to you
you answered me with a warning smile
‘You cant be too careful with children here,
you must hold their hands wherever you go.”
I said ‘yes, it’s true, but our children are grown,
they have their own lives, and their own homes,
they are taller than me, the nest is flown”

You told me you’d been out the night before
and met a man who got you drunk.
You showed me a head that was covered in gold
it was huge and heavy but the face was kind.
You tipped it up and the liquor flowed
out of its neck and onto the ground.
There were shallow waters all around.

I heard a guitar and I turned about.
I saw Bob Dylan was standing there.
His face in the free-wheelin’ time of life,
a time when he shone like a new born star.
I listened to his songs as the river flowed by.
I sat by the river and talked with him.
He didn’t say much. He looked resigned.

My lover said ‘There’s a wish fulfilled,
You can tick that one off the bucket list.’
I said ‘Wishes are useless in times like this.
I think Bob Dylan’s time has come.
There’s no place left for us to run.’
It makes me feel lost, he’s a friend,
a friend I maybe never had
but i played music so long with him
blending his guitar with my violin
and now it’s the end of Bob Dylan’s dream,
a beautiful dream. It’s makes me sad.’

An Angel in New Jersey

I flew the far Atlantic
to a place unknown
I flew to see a stranger,
a mystery. to me.
The streets were full of cars,
humming as they passed.

I climbed an empty stair.
The steps were cold and bare.
The door was open wide,
I entered there

A crumpled body,
in the corner of a room.
I knew that he would die
If I had not been there.
I spoke to him
he did not reply.

I cradled him
I shook him
dialled 911
the paramedics didnt come
i left the building at a run

i became so lost out there
the city was so huge
i was in despair

in a square
above the town
an angel came to me
and took me to the river
i saw a spanning bridge
the angel told me wait
don’t cross, the time’s not now

i waited in a rocking boat
by the river shore
and there the man came to me
a woman by his side
i knew she was his bride
dead long years before
he spoke to me
he shook my hand

‘we are going now” he said
i knew that he was dead
they danced off down the street
their happiness complete

i asked the angel ”can i dance?”
”when the time is right” she said
”that dance is for the dead”

The River of Awen

where the river flows I may never know
but i remember the spring in the mountains
where it falls from great heights
and runs clear and bright
tumbling in glistening fountains
and wends its way down
replenishing wells
filling the thirsty cup

inspiration of dreams
it’s the source of all life
my mind flows away on its ripples
i follow its flow
down from the source
to its greener pastures
.
without it there’s drought
the dryness of earth comes to nothing

In the Garden

I lost you,

somewhere in the garden,

where a path took a turn

downhill.

 

There’s a tangle of roses entwined.

Some of them have dark thorns

that cling to your skirts

as you pass.

 

The paths are a tangle, a puzzle,

twisted around like a rope.

I can’t  undo or decipher them

but I heard a distant sound,

amongst all the songs of the birds,

the gentle play of a fountain.

I need to slake my thirst.

 

I am sure I will find you there.

I met you once by a river.

By water I’ll meet you again

 

 

The Bridge Over the Weir

 

 

weir bridge

 

a mirror reflecting a bridge

blue span across a calm pool

with a foaming drop to the other side

where swans drift in gentle spray

lazily begging food

 

i lean over and watch them

warm sun beating down on my back

so peaceful here in summer

 

when the floods come in winter

this is another place

the water rises and roars

the river booms

vibrating the beams

close to my feet

 

debris in swirling bundles

crashes into the bridge

a whole tree lodged on the edge

in muddied, tumultuous foam

 

the banks of the river burst

threatening houses

and making a lake of the park

where the swans glide idly in pools

 

they are undisturbed

while my heart pounds

to the booming beat of the bridge

 

 

 

 

ripples

pebble falling

floating into hidden depths

it settled on the river bed

to rest there

long and lasting

rolled only by the river

moved by natures forces

while the ripples hit the bank

and rippled back again

 

where do the ripples go?

how far would they continue

if there was nothing

to contain them?

would they go on and on

beyond my power of seeing?

 

words are just like pebbles

reaching hidden depths

they too have their ripples

bouncing off each other

spreading outwards

in ways we never know

 

Deliverance

up in the mountains i had a vision
a river flowed upstream
a friend handed me a rifle
she said ‘the world is full of surprises
we had better be prepared’
”you cant fight nature’ i replied

***

weeks later i went to see a friend
the news had all been bad
i was so glad to see him
my heart was over-whelmed and sad
he gave me a kitten
very small and white
her soft fur was a comfort
‘look after her’ he said
he gathered all his keys
and battened down the house
it was already shaking
its timbers groaned alive
gale warnings were on the radio
he said ‘we have to go
button up your coat
it’s very cold out there’
I held the kitten close

there were riots in the streets
young girls fought, kissed, taunted boys
the old were pushed aside
there was fire and looting
broken windows, shattered glass
lost children and screaming crowds
he lead me by the hand, he sang
he said it was an old song
i was glad to hear it
he sang it strong and clear
it did so much to cheer me
a man started to shout a speech
but all he said was ‘listen’
we left the town behind us
and then the weather came

raging rivers, rising seas
broken dikes, banks breached
swirling mists and fog
on the hills that we had reached
the road was surging water
the wind howled to wake the dead
and waters ran upstream
rained lashed against my eyes
we scaled higher over rocks
smooth, adamant, gleaming
with semi-precious polish
i imagined them forged in fire
when the world began
the kitten huddled closer to my chest

he said ‘maybe we should speak of this
acknowledge what this is,
the apocalypse has come,
its stupid now to say it isn’t true’
‘i saw some of this in a dream’ i said,
too shy to say it was a vision,
‘the rivers and the seas all ran the other way
i saw these polished rocks
black and red and white, shining
molten in fire, cooled, made solid by ice
will angels appear as cloud formations?
do you think they will be coming?

he dragged me by the hand
we struggled up
then we found a dog
the dog was glad to follow
we became a traveling group of four
the raging gale began to drop
i saw a house
he pulled me through the door
he had made a home here
years and months before
in an empty hospital
the walls were painted gloss

he had built a wooden stair
that lead up to a loft
the wood was dark
and warm to the touch
my mother was safely there
she was frail but well
the strong wind had blasted
the lines from her face
she looked young again
she was packing and unpacking
and tidying her hair
distracted and confused

in a hallway, very simple,
beneath the wooden stairs
i saw four doors
all blank and bare, but one,
i knew this one was his
it was emblazoned with a sun
with golden wings spread wide
he gestured to the doors
‘one of these is yours
which one you must guess
and make it feel your own’
i didn’t care which it was
rescued, saved and wanted
i was happy to be there