Poetry Corner



The green, green playing fields of England are no more.
Replaced by toasted, roasted dust bowls by the score
Where sun-browned, white-clothed tenfold fielders shield their eyes
As bowlers fret and sweat through hexad fruitless tries.

The green, green woodland walks of England give no ease.
The thirsting sapless, hapless silent-screaming trees
Above you crack and creak as desiccated limbs
Will fail and tumble at the searing zephyr’s whims.

The green, green meadowlands of England have dried out.
The sparse grass, stems all stunted by the ceaseless drought
All dwarfed by spiny, spindly pink-topped thistle stalks
Such meagre cover from the over-hov’ring hawks.

The green, green garden lawns of England cease to be.
With weeds the only vital verdant signs to see.
The boundless butterflies set down on dainty stems
Or o’er them fluttering, like opalescent gems.

Sat on the bank - small

By The River

The insistent call of an oncoming kingfisher,
Like the distant whistle of a much-loved loco,
Quickens the pulse of the patient spotter,
Awaiting on the verdant riparian platform
The arrival of the upstream halcyon express.

The river ripples through the panoramic scene,
A silver swathe, bedecked with anatine gems,
Reflections coruscating in the meridian gleam.
Queues of downy cygnets trail slender-necked swans;
Nervous, red-faced moorhen scurry loudly to the bank.

Overhead, the wheeling, squealing hirundines
Join the holding stack above the stream,
Dropping down to strafe the shimmering sheen.
Scintillating dragonflies patrol the weedy margins
Mopping up survivors of the avian assault.

Warblers, buntings dart hither and yon
From amidst the bobbing, bending reeds.
One pauses atop a bankside hawthorn
Ever mindful of the cuckoo’s call
Echo-choing ’cross the watery mead.

Bees bumble forth in contented hum
Among the nodding flowery stems.
Where, quenching their nectarous yen,
Bright butterflies precariously perched,
Azure wings to match the cerulean plumes.


Dido’s Lament

The harpsichord with sombre tread
Reflects poor Dido’s rising dread
As out to sea the ships depart
With fair Aeneas, and her heart.

These lovers true, their fate controlled
By supernat’ral powers, we’re told.
In Vergil’s epic, gods combine
To fashion how their paths align.

The wily Juno, Venus too,
Attempt to make the marriage true.
But Mercury is then dispatched
To foil the plan the deae hatched.

For Roman shores the Trojan sails;
The will of Jupiter prevails,
Although Aeneas knows his flight
Will leave the Queen in mortal plight.

And as he rides upon the waves
A backward glance the young man braves.
He sees the smoke rise from the fire
Beneath the Carthaginian pyre.

Returning to the Purcell tune
The unaccomplished honeymoon
Is foiled by elf in godly form
Come under cover of a storm.

In guise of Mercury, the sprite
Sent by the sorc’ress, full of spite,
Reminds the Trojan he must hove
To Roman shores, for mighty Jove.

Whichever version one may hear
The fate of Dido is set clear.
Bereft of love, she cannot live,
And thus the fatal blow must give.

So as the closing melody
Of Dido’s anguished threnody
Like curls of smoke, trails in the air
To bear aloft her final prayer,

The harpsichord with doleful viols
Reechoes Dido’s woes and trials
The steps she treads, the wound she makes,
As on the pyre her rest she takes.

Small coffee

The Last Bees of Autumn

Shadows of the last bees of autumn
Dancing over the grey slate tiles
Step lightly across the umbral treads
Fashioned by the shading slats
Diffusing rays of late October sun.

A larger form flits into view
Settling, as the charcoal nymph
Pauses atop a night black star.
Then, sated by the daisy dark,
Springs towards the late October sun.

Stillness reigns, yet not quite still
As lazing up, from freshly brewed
The day’s first fortifying philtre,
Curling trails of ghostly haze
Rising through the late October sun.

An avian avatar appears
Disturbs the auroral reverie.
Bobby Blackbreast’s darkling shade
Alights upon an ebonic branch
Silhouetted in the late October sun.

A trill of notes then he is gone
His outline skims the chimeric keys,
Sounding unheard harmonies
To his melancholic melody
An elegy in the late October sun.

2015-04-05 08.30.50

The Noisy Dog

for CFB

The noisy dog, enraged, encaged.
Baleful beast, prowling, growling.
Cloistered canine, collared, turbulent.
Howling hound, tethered, pothered.

Door opens, relief revealed.
Doleful, soulful, whimpering, simpering.
Care, concern, remorse, recourse,
To biscuits, treats, strokes and sweets.

Door closes, relief retreats.


The Grey Chair

for Polly

The Grey ChairBlue chair, new chair, there’s another true chair.
Soft chair, oft there, friendly and familiar.
New lass, in the class, teacher says, “Sit over there.”
MY place, long face, mutter firmly, “It’s not fair.”

Stop short, I’m caught, only one place in the room.
Corner seat, leaden feet, trudging slowly to my doom.
New girl, cheeky twirl, “This is MY place, I presume.”
Laughter shorn, all forlorn, happiness is turned to gloom.

Grey chair, stray chair, shouldn’t really be there.
Hard chair, fabric bare, in a state of disrepair.
Leaking, creaking, teacher gives an angry stare.
Soulful, doleful, sucking joy from out the air.

Lesson drags, new girl brags, favourite subject turned to dust.
Work stalls, effort falls, teacher chivvies, says I must.
Prep late, parents grate, call my tutor, much discussed.
Detention set, worst day yet, everything is so unjust.

New day, SHE’S away, back to MY place, quickly there.
Sheer relief, beyond belief, blue and grey cannot compare.
Comfy seat, new and neat, teacher says my work is fair.
Lurking still, evil chill, in the corner, grey, grey chair.

Doctor Who and the Glutens

for Clare

The Glutens are coming, the Glutens are coming,
They’re hiding so cunningly there in that bread.
The Glutens are coming, the Glutens are coming,
They’ll steal all your energy, send you to bed.

Da-da-da-dumming, da-da-da-dumming,
The music is rising, the tune cries woo-woo,
Da-da-da-dumming, da-da-da-dumming,
Here comes our hero, the brave Dr Who.

The pretty assistant falls prey to their wiles,
Ingests them and hosts them all there in her gut.
The doctor trails frantic through Tardis’ files,
As bloating engrosses, like Jabba the Hutt.

A random intruder gives useless advice
And says the condition is all in her head.
We know that he’s wrong and will die in a trice,
Like no-names on Star Trek if they’re wearing red.

The protein reactions are getting much worse.
The doctor cries, “Stupid! I’ve not used my brain,
Your coeliac symptoms will start to reverse,
The moment you stop eating foods made from grain.”

Da-da-da-dumming, da-da-da-dumming,
The Tardis is leaving and fading, er-whoosh.
Da-da-da-dumming, da-da-da-dumming,
The music is fading and ending, er-shush.

The Glutens are coming, the Glutens are coming,
But now you are ready, precautions to take.
The Glutens are coming, the Glutens are coming,
A lifelong observance, it’s no piece of cake.

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