Gratitude

I see shallow children through the window

playing by the beach

with parents pushing swings so high

as high as they can reach

The road is slow, the traffic locked

‘til lights change and we move –

drivers with one thing on their mind –

or a thousand thoughts tossing

turning – all of different kinds

Hatchbacks, four-wheel-drives, sports cars

and the odd sedan – Diane,

Mustafa, Willow, Jake and John –

going… going… going –

coming from

The dash reads 8:47 –

fourteen minutes I’ll be late for work

I take a u-turn ‘round the round-a-bout

and then I drive below the tower where

I spend my day – with hopes to thrive

We come from varied pasts – across

the ditch, from southern states

Little Canada – beyond

so disparate, no fear –

in one place at one time

conducting lives we call careers

Working for a second income

striving for promotion for the few

or waiting for a better role beyond –

beyond the horizon past the window past the view

What then for head-sets, staring –

screens aware that eyes are fading

as they read data duller by the day

What then… what then is there to say…

I walk outside at lunch and see a man –

a man with wrinkled face and time to spend

pushing a trolley housing home

along a path that has no end

Next morning there’s a needless noise

outside – a bird is chirping –

sitting atop the street sign

on the corner in my view

I consider him a moment

a happy chap – gratitude his friend –

a noisy miner singing to the few –

Graciousness is holding my hand, too. 

—————

 Not what we have but what we enjoy constitutes our abundance
(Epicurus)

To the sea

I stand above the solemn field
where strangers come to see
whatever shall be wishing for
in news endowed to thee
 
I walk beside the strangest beach
where friends of all kinds walk
and then I dance the dance, so dear
but cannot talk the talk
 
But ever shall we wonder
whatever could have been
if only I had held your hand
if only I had seen
 
Never too late – the high sea tells
for tides may come and go
but love for other never strays
beyond the deepest foe
 
Who stands beside when told to move
who cannot make it clear
that always and forever thus
will bring the deepest fear
 
Of a poem in the making
a romance come what may
and dance the dance that’s sent to chance
and speak the words to say
 
I am a meagre, lesser man
when faced with you alone
and strive to be another
to the mirror, on my own
 
But no words mean no feelings
for they lead to actions thus
and always will they dare to build
a stronger, wiser us
 
Do not deprive your liberty
do not abide by chance
your eyes look to my feet to lead
and then we’ll dance the dance
 
And as the years may pass
and the passing comes to be
I’ll take your hand and walk my sweet
together – to the sea.

Does a poem need a picture?

Does a poem need a picture
a tapestry of thread
layers of a fabric
in your stead
 
for what came before it –
the tapestry of mind
interpret as it’s seen
or as it’s read
 
like a quilt – a covering
a line of stitching – all in sinc
does the poet rely on more
than merely what the pen may bring
 
the web of inspiration –
haiku, elegy or rhyme
does the poem need a picture –
 
Art –
The embroidery of time

Ne’er to go

The wind shakes –

the ground breaks –

your eyes wake and blink

 

a joyful string

your baggage light

delight in spring and build

 

create God’s guild

love, laugh then chide –

before I lose my alibi

 

I reached the wall –

a no-through road –

yet in your arms I fell

 

and all is well

 

for in you I’ve stayed –

devoted to your hand and heart

 

with you I ride – no more to stray

ne’er to go –

ne’er to go –

ne’er to go away.

what makes one a fairy

what makes one a fairy

give her a hedge to hide behind

bring lightning and the strongest fragrance

and she will have taller feet –

longer arms and bigger hands

and delve into the Never-never-land

 

a playmate remains a little girl

travelling to the evening star

by horse and carriage ride –

abandoning reality

for the thrills of dreaming

 

frolic one must – fancy-free

for the passing of time

and the fairy’s wish

will be a wish for all

who bid goodbye

 

smother happiness upon another

play like there is no tomorrow

and delight in the bewitching hour –

build a cherished home

filled with fairy dust and jasmine flowers

 

to away austerity and lure love

and lead from way behind the hedge

and share the fairy’s fragrance

in mere mortals’ smiles –

 

seen in(stead) –

mere mortals in her stead.

out of many

Because one said so

is it true

who else says it’s so –

do you

 

because one warrants

you agreed

who else will agree

with thee

 

because one stands tall

do you stand too

does anyone else stand tall

with you

 

out of many, one –

(e pluribus unum) –

thirteen letters

scattered some

 

emblazoned seal

in eagle’s beak

diversified –

it’s you one seeks

to be one day

 

though many tried –

 

it’s you the one

most deified.

the storm

What can I see

when I say I can do

and the bird in the tree

reminds me of you

 

and the little lake ponders

and paddles and pants

and the stars in the sky

over yonder way land

 

speak to the children

who chide in the snow

and the sleet turns to feet

on the ski-slopes on show

 

 

and the fire has embers

that keep lovers warm

cuddled and huddled

under blankets in storms

 

and when thunder breaks

and pets hide out of view

the thunder’s anger

reminds me of you

 

when I said; I don’t love you –

can’t take anymore

and you told me; get out

and you showed me the door

 

 

as I dangled my feet

in the water below

and thought of the time

on the ski-slopes

in the snow

 

it was you on my mind

my ‘one’ grown from ‘two’

the bird in the tree

under sky, clearest blue

The tree trunk brought him solace

The tree-trunk brought him solace
a place to rest his hand
the man more Irish than his whiskey
was not long for this land

and his bayonet and musket –
ingrained in him that day
on the ground called Little Round Top
lay with him, bleeding, as he’d say;

we fight for that man Chamberlain
(manly was his speech)
with majesty and guile
eye to eye, he cried, beseeched;

do it for me this day m’lad
fight for honour ‘cos you can
do it for me this day m’lad
this day become a man

their eyes pierced each others,
(so sincere)
as Chamberlain implored;
my men are angels, pure angels
great deeds they’ll do, be sure

his Irish friend spoke one last time –
they’re Killer Angels, barely read
they’ve got that killer instinct, Sir
they’ll fight until they’re dead

they’ll hold that hill
with guts and will
you’ll lead them ‘til they’ve bled

their soul will sing
the devil’s dance
the mainstay of the band
as Chamberlain reached out, so dear –
reached out, and held his hand

you may be gone my dearest chum
but in my heart you live
and strive to be the essence, we
of courage found within

I’m with you, Sir, I’m by your side
though from backgrounds, so severe
go forth and hold –
be brave and bold
away your Angels’ fear

you will return to Bowdoin, Maine
and live a life of large

and as you do
(may God be true)
and war be far apart

yet reflect – on boys to men –
for their mother’s, they shall weep

fight your good fight
and in the dark of night
think of me – now sound asleep.

————————————————-

Footnote: this poem is based on the only fictitious character, Buster Kilrain, in the movie, Gettysburg (1993), written and directed by Robert F Maxwell, and the novel, The Killer Angels (1974), by Michael Shaara.

dead poets

The teacher, on the table, stood

(to some a block), a plank of wood

yet there stood a scribe with task

to feed those beyond mere reasoning

 

a calculated world we’re living in

with textbook teachings of the past

think, my friends – with majesty

within you is the test to see

 

dead poets, yet immortal ‘sons’

quiet though their presence be

more than words – they sing to me

and to those who live beyond

 

rip it out, lads – go on rip, rip some more

the man stands proud – his text decried

dismiss and you’ll be better for

forefathers land yours to refine

 

there’s one way forward and one way through

arise young men, well read and true

choose your course and wisely too

for poets dead live on in you.

 

 

footnote:- this poem is a tribute to the inspiration derived from the movie Dead Poets Society (1989) and its main character, John Keating, played by the late Robin Williams (1951 – 2014).

Max

Max was a magical, marvellous man

hard as a nail

soft as sleet in the snow

 

done best he can do

‘til sleep surrounded –

miraculous Max – one day

found confounded

 

Max was ‘tall’ –

a drinking man? no

tawdry at times

a frugal face

once judgemental

 

with big heart

brave and bold

and views fundamental

 

Max knew things – more than most

markedly smart with sweet soul

family first, old or young

family always had been

 

home by six was his mantra

to play with the kids

luscious his love –

his smile, serene

 

gasping yet gracious

inviting pillow that night

the room was enveloped

the feeling so keen

 

gasping, so gracious

everything right

gaspingly gracious –

Max said;

Goodnight!