A Hero to Someone

Writing 201: Day 6 prompt, form and device are – Hero, Ballad, Epistrophe (repeated words appear at the end of lines).

I don’t really like the idea of “Hero”.

The example ballad given was “a taste of Oscar Wilde: And twice a day he smoked his pipe/And drank his quart of beer…” and also thinking of various poets like Dylan Thomas who one is told also liked a drink or two.

I thought of the people I really think of as heroes, who show daily courage, who struggle against illnesses, other sorts of odds.

Recovery – A hero to someone

So twice a day he took a walk
Then drank a cup of tea,
He said ‘let others drink the beer,
The tea will do for me.’
He knew he once had drunk too much
And so the rule of thumb:
Say ‘No and never Yes to beer
I know what I’d become.’

It started out as teenage prank
behind the potting shed,
A beer or three the boys would drink
Before t’was time for bed.
For extra fun there was a banjo
And on it he would strum,
A drink a plink, a plonk or two,
You see what I’ll become.

The banjo boy got all the girls
Beer stopped him being shy,
But then it made him lose his cool
and soon they passed him by.
A maudlin drunkard’s just a fool
His actions pretty dumb.
His love said ‘you are not for me’
Just look what you’ve become.

So very many years went by
The bottle his best friend
Until one day he couldn’t play
and thought this is the end.
For now he followed his false friend
As if it was the drum,
And every day he reached for drink
Though love had hate become.

Until at last he found he hated
beer and self and everything
The banjo lay upon the shelf
Long unplayed but still with string
It caught his eye, he took it down
And he saw what he’d become
And how he once had thought to play
As though his soul had found a home.

Now he plays each day with courage
Each minute heeding stop and think
Sober is a daily journey
Never ever take a drink.
Twice a day he takes a walk
Then he drinks a cup of tea.
For a while he plays the banjo
Makes each day become, to be.


Lament for Summer

Writing 210: Poetry. Today the word is Fog, make it an Elegy, and use metaphor.

Lament for Summer

Follow footprints in the snow where the dog has been playing.
Tugging on gloves, re-wrapping scarf over mouth.
Breath rising in clear air. Around the house corner on up the hill
Breath, breathe, heart beating comes to consciousness.
Each breath labours to hear its own continuance.
A cold body listens to its own work.IMG_6146
A dog happily muzzles snow for a buried toy.

Imagine a present only. No spring. No summer.
No hot sand flying under deep delving paws.
A dog’s life indeed.

Indoors, briefly blinded by steamed up lenses
The warm fug of radiant heat rising from the floor
Imagine summer. Strip off these boots and pants
Step out of thermals. Feel skin open to sunshine.
Champagne bubbles burst. Blurred vision, roof snow
flying west with the wind. Golden days are gone.
Happily make tea, mull over memories.

Follow my footprints where I have played
tugging heartsrings, re-telling stories.
It passes fast, indeed.

South Island

written October 2008, in one of the world’s unutterably beautiful places, watching geese fly over New Zealand.

South Island   

By Lake Takepo

in early morning light

orange flowers are furled.

Petals wrapped tight with promise

display their gold when the sun’s clear light shows

above the snow bright heights.

High, three geese triangle their flight

into blue-white sky beyond.

Below, water edge

opens to the world.

World, below around above

land, lake, mountains, sky.

Who will cry?

and say ‘this matters’

or  ‘I care’.

Who now would sorrow or make war?

Grounded in glory

Serendipity, synchronicity strikes again. As I was posting this, I read Speccy’s post today and it seems to me to be on this wavelength I am trying to get at. In all the immensity of bits, togethers, etc. sometimes we organise and weave some sense. Sometimes, Sometimes not.

Grounded in glory

Geese Over Odiham

Geese Over Odiham (Photo credit: Vampire Bear)

The geese fly
Arrowed to some far corner of the sky
Cornered I follow
Eyes stretching past that line of sight
Blinking as the light brings tears
Stung, strung together my eyelashes
are silk threads, binding strands,
shimmering embroidering possibility.

I too would fly
chased like the phoenix
to rise again, again.
Then stop.Fall

Softly stroke shimmering silk, cotton, hemp
Not a goose with foolish dreams
I will not break the threads
Stretch and stitch, knot and tie
unfinished tapestry.
This weave is my life.
Sublime, foolish, unutterable, all,
Grounded in glory.

written March 2013.

Kim Stanley Robinson, from google books

from google books

Memories (here) of watching geese in New Zealand, as well as other places, remembering Mary Oliver’s wonderful Wild Geese

and just now reading Kim Stanley Robinson’s “The Years of Rice and Salt” see page 429.


Returning after absence

I was a founder member of this organisation (Scottish Association for Psychodynamic Counselling) and it and the people in it have been of considerable importance to me. As I have often been away from Scotland in recent years, I have not attended the meetings, until last weekend. This was written while awaiting the speaker (and it is not completely accurate, I did know some other attendees, but not many.)

Thoughts on returning to an SAPC meeting

Feelings of ancientness
As if Buddha
had landed nearby
Saying Hi
You are welcome
As it is lonely here.

Having been reflective,
forty years 
in the growth and development
one develops
pretty practical philosophy.

So where am I?
with those feelings
having been here before.
Still eager, still
Waiting for enlightenment.
Attending a meeting
of which I was a founder member
knowing no-one.

The wind’s gift

Here on Block Island (which has the possibly the most expensive power costs in the USA, and the most ecologically stupid, powered by diesel oil which is painstakingly tankered here by the boat) there has been endless debate about the possibility of having an off-shore windfarm. Much of the delay comes from vociferous folk who think any wind farm would spoil their views or add unwelcome sound levels. As if the technology had never been tried out anywhere before, as if the places where windfarms exist were not (in my opinion anyway) made more stunningly beautiful by the turbines rising majestically and gracefully skywards. I have lived near Cornwall’s north coast farm and New Zealand’s Tararua ranges farm.

Written mid-december 2012, while the community is still talking.

The Wind’s Gift


The rushes have turned brown.
Now burnt bacon crispiness
rustles, crackles in the wind
The soft feathers
a month past have flown.
Beyond the near sound
a seagull rises from the pond
lifting its squawk beyond
the waves sussuration.

A snick, as each long stick
rush bends to find its place
clicks a return.
Sun glitters off the wavelets
Sighing whispering
over and over every sound
ceaselessly resonant.
A plane hums its wasp buzz
and car tyres offer
their whoosh on the road to town.

Unremitting the wind
comes by my eardrum
thrumming deep with endless
mindless babel all around.
I am here, I am wind,
Take my gift.
Let me add new sound
beautiful low belling
register somewhere
between the wave and the swamp

Let me bring new wonder:
the wind farm.
Harmonious grace
outstanding here.
Make this my gift.