Thursday, December 19, 2013

Fairy, 49 and counting...



Our wedding  in November was too close to Christmas for comfort… In 1964 we had little money, and although the nearby farm shop had real trees for a few shillings, decorations would need to cost pennies.

I bought three packs of crepe paper, one white, one pink, one turquoise, and I raided the kitchen for a roll of Bacofoil. My bits and bobs box produced a stretchy pink hair band, some scraps of fabric, bias binding and sequins…

By cutting ¼” slices off the still folded crepe paper, I soon had some dainty garlands to loop between the branches, while tiny slivers of Bacofoil twined round a knitting needle made wonderful dangling ‘icicles.’

The hair band became a fairy’s body. Fuse wire framed  wings put the finishing touch to her ‘princess’ dress, whose flounced skirts were edged with two shades of pink binding and scattered with silver sequins..Her black wool hair had a coronet to crown it, and she clasped a tinsel-topped wand in one hand…

Through the years, she had several changes of clothes and wings, and her wand disappeared - as her magic dwindled, I expect! But in nineteen ninety two she got ‘downsized’ to suit the much smaller artificial tree in my new home. Now here she is, in that same incarnation; still ready, willing and able to take her rightful place this Christmas.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Feast or Famine

Ocean winds blow
across the rooftops...

Gulls screech
and dive
for the breakfast scraps,
scattered
by an old woman.

A land-locked lawn
is a poor substitute
for the green waves' freedom
and Neptune's larder.

Only the small offering of a passing thought for Toad's Open Link Monday today...


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Watched Over


Your photograph in my hall watches me
passing by, as I move about my house.

You share the expression of Mother's eyes;
my Grandmother's nose would etch the same
fine line as yours in profile - a family
trait, which I have, perhaps, inherited.

From within your rosewood frame you haunt me,
though you have no name which I could verify.
I feel I know you. Were you Great Uncle? 
Great Grandfather? If we'd both been alive
in the same century, we might have talked,
discovered we shared more than family…

But you're not forgotten, dark-haired, distant
relative who remains part of my life..

And I've linked this today to Poetry Pantry

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

On Friendship



Thanks to a chain of Bloggy information, I have today learned of the death of Dave King, after Brian at d'Verse paid tribute to the friendship which had been struck up between them. I too was privileged to number Dave among my Blogpals, and have decided to post these lines, written in the past few days, for friendship lies at the heart of them as well.


You and I have never met,
and yet...

there is inside my mind
a place where reality blurs,
where my ears have learned
the mysteries of your voice,
and heard tales of your life
that I recognise...

yes, almost remember...

as though we had lived in unison,
although in separate worlds.

Bridges span our thoughts,
and words
link us each to the other
in some time out of time
where speech-streams mingle,
until we become a river in full flood,
and I know that I am home.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Blotting My Copy Book?

Thanks to Lolamouse at IGWRTS for this unusual prompt.

In ancient days, two solitary Pilgrims set forth, each from a far country, each keeping the prevailing winds at their back.

They walked through Life, allowing these winds to determine whither their steps should lead, leaving the choice of route to a Higher Power, for they knew themselves to be of small account in the grand scheme of things.

They carried sacks, in which they collected scraps of Knowledge and Wisdom with which they could feed the needy when Despair failed to give such people sustenance. But the sacks were still part empty, and the Pilgrims themselves were often hungry....

Then one day the Winds of Chance joined forces, made the Pilgrim's paths cross. The roads joined and a single Path lay ahead.

For the first time in their lives, they experienced true Companionship, and scraps of Kindness were added to their sacks. Their hunger pangs lessened.

At last the two stopped to rest, and placed their sacks on the ground. It was then that they realised both were overflowing - with Love; and at last the Pilgrims knew what it was to feel replete.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

In A Jam?

Image: www.langstaffclassics.co.uk
Rust;
that flaky, ginger, crust
whose russet tones pierce the heart
even as they start
alarm bells ringing,
cash signs pinging...
"How much for a new  -  ?!!
Whew!"

(You fill in the gap
chaps.)
If part of your car
rusts, better by far
you get it fixed
soon, despite mixed
emotions. The cash drain
will only increase, and you'll gain
nothing by leaving it till another day.
Pay up, grin and bear it.
"Shit!"

Written especially for Poetry Jam

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Then and Now

Misty horizons hid outlines of trees
and undulating hills gave a backdrop
to the lives of people who worked the land.
But urban boils of towns and cities scarred
more and more of the countryside.  People 
said "It's progress, this modernisation."
Until they saw the Earth begin to mourn...

Skeletal monsters invade the skyline,
their sharp angles slicing the air above
the city, above its inhabitants
who scurry beneath the uplifted arms
oblivious to this supplication from
metal limbs raised as if in silent prayer-
" Save the green spaces of our countryside..."

Written for The Mag 176 in which Tess gave us a photo, Supermoon 2013 by Julio Cortez, A P, for inspiration.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Remember

In Memoriam

Rain leaches amber pigment from cells
and decomposes  leaves, until
only their ghost-shapes pattern the pavement.

The Plane tree arches above them,
these images like family photos.
By next Spring, there will be nothing
for new leaf buds to see.
Only the tree will remember.

Written for IGWRT's

Friday, June 14, 2013

Poor Cows

Way out in America's West
there's one thing the cowpokes do best;
they sport battered hats,
spurred boots and fringed chaps
which make them stand out from the rest.

Where I live, in this ancient old isle,
such a get up might raise a few smiles,
for though denims are 'in'
spurs are 'out'! And I grin,
for I rather admire the style...

So I can but imagine the charm
of a lasso controlled by my arm,
as I chase a wild steer
without showing fear,
though the act makes me quake with alarm...

But, just think of the branding that's done.
Who'd want a hot iron on their bum?
Or a life in a herd?
That's really absurd -
the poor cows sure don't get much fun!

At IGWRT's, Margaret has us  chasing cowboy dreams today, inspired by the photography of Merri Meide.
And I'notice d'Verse asked for a rondolet on Thursday- so I'm adding a late one on the same subject, just for fun!

The cowboy's life
might not suit you or I; it's true
the cowboy's life
consists of toil, hard knocks and strife.
But once he shows what he can do
he could tempt many dreamers to
the cowboy's life.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Food For Thought, Perhaps

What does your letterbox eat?

Mine used to survive
on a sparse diet of envelopes.
It was healthy.

Now, it gets force-fed with flyers
from local fast food places
or supermarkets,
which it spews at once
onto my doormat,
as unpalatable...

And catalogues? They're
enough to give any door indigestion
as it tries to swallow their feast
of expensive purse-tempting pages.

But the menu alternates on lean days
with thin, pleading, plastic sacks
which expect a throw away
generation to feed unwanted items
to this charity, or that good cause.

So while I and my letterbox
are bombarded with ”Buy, buy, buy!”
the plastic bags keep coming.

I think I'll link this to Poetry Pantry... for some reason, all the Toads chose to ignore it last Monday...


Sunday, May 19, 2013

Rictameter Rules

IGWRT's mini-challenge for Sunday is to write a nine line rictameter. The first 5 lines are very similar to a cinquain and  the pattern of syllables per line goes like this:  2,4,6,8,10,8,6,4,2.    The first and last lines must be the same.

Sunday;
by tradition
a day for radio
to subsume the senses
and ease into wind-down of the weekend
before the mind need remember
the next week's beginning -
heading towards
Sunday.


Monday, May 13, 2013

Prelude Part ll

Choices

Eleven Plus Examination; first milestone passed and signposts pointed to 'no-choice' choices - 
"Possible combinations of English: French: German: Latin?"
"Yes."
"Plus Greek?"
"No."
"Art: Needlework: Cookery?"
"Yes."
"Plus Shorthand and Typing?"
"No."
"Maths: Biology: Science: Physics: History: Geography?"
"Yes, yes, yes."
But only if The Arts were not first choice;  a 'no-choice' choice in action, curtailed by timetable restrictions and too few teachers, or too few hours in a day.


Summation

Life had come in six year slices;
first, a war torn, well populated family life:
second, a solitary, introverted world at school:
third, a dawn of self awareness, confidence
and growing realization of the enormity
of how much knowledge was on offer.

From  eighteen on, as if twelve years’ worth
of three-term-times-each had not been enough,
came another five-times-three at art college:
annual, pie chart segments, interspersed 
with dribs and drabs of holiday buffers
linking the rushing train of life and learning.

But the points changed
and sent me along a branch line -
to marriage, and children,
not the capital city of a teaching career.

Now whistle stop memories
halt at my brain station
as scenery blurs outside time’s window.
The engine followed its track to Now,
but  the train still holds fast to the rails…
Destination? Learning;  always changing.


This is the follow on from last Wednesday's Real Toad's challenge to write a prelude. :)

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Prelude

The lifeblood of the classroom passed into my veins, that Easter Term in 1946. Chalk-dust, copybooks, inkwells, had scents which linked the chain of school days about my neck. They hung heavy, at the start. So much was new, as home became secondary and Teacher was the centre of the universe to the clusters of pupil-planets in orbit about her each day.

A gold star sat on a turned page when lessons went well… until knowing how, why, what, became an ongoing addiction… Where might this lead, if acquiring knowledge, passing exams, winning scholarships, meant  finishing the race to adulthood ahead of the crowd?

Written for IGWRT's, and it so happens a holiday snap of my great-niece and great-nephew fits the bill - sort of!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Real Toads

IGWRT's Kerry asks about a favourite poem. Although I have come across many more erudite examples of a poet's art, if I'm to be totally honest, I have to take you all back to one of my earliest childhood memories, in order to share mine.

It's called 'The Littlest One' by Marion St John Webb, and long, long before I went to school to read it for myself, it could reduce me to tears as an Aunt or a cousin read it aloud. It was right at the beginning in the book of the same name, which probably means it got read more often that those on later pages, but to this day, it remains top of my list.

The Littlest One

I'm sittin' on the doorstep,
and I'm eating bread and jam,
and I isn't crying really,
though I 'speks you think I am.

I'm feelin' rather lonely,
and I don't know what to do,
'cos there's no one here to play with
and I've broke my hoop in two.

I can hear the child'en playing,
but they sez they don't want me
'cos my legs are rather little,
an' I run so slow, you see.

So I'm sittin' on the doorstep
and I'm eating bread and jam,
and I isn't crying really,
though it feels as if I am.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Acrostics

Written for Poetry Jam

A Thought

Soak in silence brains which have been
Overloaded
And otherwise afflicted by too much noise
Killing the power of rational thought.


An Afterthought

Spiritual
orientation
always
kindles
imaginations
needing
grace.

Monday, April 29, 2013

It's All Go


Fallout

After the party once the guests leave,
the workers then set to and roll up their sleeves -
scrubbing the dishes or scraping the plates -
all of them in a row, next to their mates.
The washing up water sends up clouds of steam
and the washer-up wishes this was just a dream!


This week's Mag shows an illustration by Helen Ward, and I've played with a detail from it here, with thanks to the original artist and to Tess...and come next Friday, it will be fit for G-Man, as, including the title, it reaches the magic 55 number!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

In Honour of Botticelli

Love Poem

Pastor Portle       
gave a chortle,
tipped his hat
then sat -

and smiled

beguiled
by what he saw.

No flaw
of nature marred his view -
for - in front of him stood you,
in all your glory;
what better point to end my story?!
For Botticelli's Venus is
undoubtedly a perfect Ms.

A late 55 for G-man , as well as a second poem for # 28 of NaPoRiMo :)
I must apologise to Doctor FTSE, who coined the name 'Parson Portle', which I , in my stupidity, transcribed as 'Pastor Portle' - perhaps they were twins?! Hehehe!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Foggy Frog Daze

"Save The Frogs Day is the world's largest day of amphibian education and conservation action," IGWRT's announces. In searching for some poetic inspiration, I got no further than the word which sits at the top of my 'poem' for today...To any serious scientists who take umbrage, my heartfelt apologies!


Archaeobatrachia
most primitive of frogs,
tiny by comparison
(so Mr Wiki logs)
with other leaping creatures
in ponds or streams or bogs.

Then I read about the origin
of our more modern frogs,
who are called Neobatrachia.

At this point, my mind boggles - I shall hide me 'neath a log,
and hope my brain cells will emerge from this Anura* fog - soon...


(*) Posh name for frog.