Samuel Peralta at dVerse Poets sets the challenge of composing a Glosa. (Details at bottom of page.)
The train is leaving has left
that I haven't boarded,
the journey is beginning
that I haven't begun.
Other travellers and trippers
push past me, launch themselves
on their great journeys. I,
on the other hand, am a fixed point,
their North Star by which they check
their headings. Stationary time has heft
and gravitas; it's travelling
that lightens loads. I see them go
to states of mind of which I am bereft.
My train is leaving, has left.
Wait! Even in my stationary state
the world around me changes.
Exotic costumes jostle me,
the tang of unseen spaces flow,
and from luggage labels palm trees grow.
Hotels I'd never have afforded
stretch out their corridors like arms to me.
I'll book a room with a sea view!
Not all the scrap book scenes I've hoarded
went with the train I haven't boarded!
Picked up now by a sudden crush
and wafted through the barrier,
I'm taken to a small lagoon.
Grass-skirted girls with bamboo pipes
welcome me with flowers and tunes.
I cannot help the fact I'm grinning;
sunbathing here on pure white sands,
smug now, knowing that my world is good --
and furthermore, no longer spinning...
Ha! The journey is beginning!
Coming from my reverie
with six hard hats surrounding me:
The area from here to there...
(They're pointing... vaguely... in the air...)
is private land. Industrial --
A work place, see? And not for fun!
The dream is shattered. Nothing left
of what I'd thought my great escape.
My dream is back, beyond square one --
the dream I haven't begun.
The poem The Train is Leaving is in the current edition of Poetry London, and so, I imagine, a new poem. I have not been able to find it on the internet, but if you are more successful, I would appreciate a word to that effect.
*Samuel Peralta writes:-
The glosa is a form of poetry from the late 14th century and was popular in the Spanish court.
The introduction, the cabeza, is a quatrain quoting a well-known poem or poet.
The second part is the glosa proper, expanding on the theme of the cabeza, consisting of four ten-line stanzas, with the lines of the cabeza used to conclude each stanza.
Lines six and nine must rhyme with the borrowed tenth.
For further info' follow my link to the dVerse Poets web page.
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Friday, 24 May 2013
Thursday, 23 May 2013
FROM mindlove misery the intriguing suggestion that we use as inspiration a song from the decade of our birth. For me that's the thirties and I have chosen Night and Day by Cole Porter. You can read the lyrics here. My offering takes the form of a reply to Cole Porter -- from a very different world, of course.
You can keep, keep, keep your tom toms,
their beat is not for me
the beat, beat, beat I appreciate
is the heart beat of the free,
and the drip, drip, drip of the raindrops
has very little to do
with the fact that I love a world made for love,
at the head of which stands you.
Night and Day
you are the one I love,
the one who rides above
every storm-kissed wave.
Night and Day
we'll be but two,
not two alone,
but out in the world
where our love was grown.
Night and Day
we'll be just two
with a mission to save
whatever the cost
what is not yet lost.
It's the beat, beat, beat of a yearning
for a world that is slipping away,
and you and I must share, my love,
in preserving our future's day.
Tuesday, 21 May 2013
Two fragments here from childhood memory:
first, a searchlight like the lighthouse-light,
the way it cut the opaque darkness, where
touching then the sky it made it nebulous,
like Gran's blueberry jelly -- or so it
seemed to me. [A war time joke: two simpletons.
First simpleton: five pounds you can't climb to
the very top of that there beam and wave.
Second simpleton: No bet, I'll not get
half way to the top before you'll turn it off!]
We watched the soldiers play the light across
the sky, my dad and I, in search of Junkers
bombers, so I heard. It was a torch that turned
the sky's bleak slab to a new blazing vision
in my mind. And there below the lighthouse
the second vision, more homely, just as bright:
The dandelion clock puff balls that we blew,
breath after breath, to watch them float or hover,
timing our return to home and tea: three--
O-clock, four, five-of-the-clock -- gone time to go!
Sometimes we'd crush them if we didn't want
to go. Mostly, though we went!
Written jointly for The Sunday Whirl who supplied the above wordle and The Mag 169 for whom I am much indebted for the great image, Wyeth Jamie's Lighthouse-dandelions.
Friday, 17 May 2013
A brown and yellow ball
rolled from the square
between parked cars
and into the road.
The ball was followed
by a small boy (brown
shorts and yellow top).
A speeding car avoided him
and stopped a few yards
further on. The boy
had fallen to the ground
so that most bystanders
thought he had been hit.
Two men, one of them the
boy's father, dragged
the driver from the car
to remonstrate with him
before calling the police.
The boy was inconsolable --
the ball having been squashed.
Thursday, 16 May 2013
It filled a corner of their living room,
but never quite produced the sounds
that we, who lived with them, were keen to hear.
The radiogram, my gran and granddad's
pride and joy. It hummed and strummed. And Churchill
must have loved it, for his voice boomed through it
often when the two of them sat close, ears
almost to the yellow grill. But others
stayed away: Dick Barton, for example,
the Special Agent never did come through.
To hear the likes of him we had our own
technology: a crystal set. Sulphide
of lead, the crystal was. We tickled it
with a long wire - the whisker from the cat.
No batteries were needed. No power
of any sort beyond the waves caught by
the crystal's long antenna. Here and there
were hot spots on the crystal which if you
tickled them just right with the long wire, not
too hard and not too soft and just in the
right spot, you'd get a crackle in the 'phones
or a long hiss before a voice or sound
effects or honky tonk. And all from no-
where and by magic, all from the ether
and all free. But if the adults used it
it would merely crackle and the only
voice you'd hear was theirs. They'd fret and fume and
curse each time the tune was lost to crackle.
Written for Poetry Jam where this week's prompt is Crystal
Wednesday, 15 May 2013
Light -- sun-light -- instinctively owned
source and nourisher of energies
that flesh is heir to.
Mind knowing it as twin.
Object -- not medium -- of sight.
See how mountains scatter light in certain ways --
the way that water smacks and breaks off rock,
perhaps -- and other things in different ways,
how trees have similar trade secrets of their own.
How all we know of anything is how it fractures light --
until, that is, we add the confirmation of a touch:
the mountain can be climbed,
the tree will take our weight.
But more: the way the light will change
a surface that it falls upon
(or the surface will change it),
so do the patterns from the world around
fall on to patterns sparking in the brain,
and like conflicting wave forms,
cause interference, each with each,
sometimes to enhance the status quo
and feed the pleasure centres of the mind
as beauty; sometimes to corrupt,
and tell us that we see an ugliness.
Tuesday, 14 May 2013
The sun's first rays
brushed the mouth of the cave,
catching the tattered figures,
robing them momentarily
in light, and seeming to enhance
the clarity of their chants.
Their voices must
have echoed eerily in
the confined space
of their lowly hermitage,
though they soared
with crystal beauty
above the broken line of trees
where the birds of prey
were already circling.
And then the chanting stopped,
replaced by a nasal drone.
It was a signal known to the birds.
The oldest and wisest of
the hermits had long ago
made a solemn vow,
which he considered binding,
that by hook or by crook
he would save the souls
of those murderous birds.
Now he made a fist
and held it aloft.
The first and biggest of the birds
descended, perched on
the knuckles of his closed hand
and spread its wings,
forming there the image of a crucifix.
Written for The Sunday Whirl whose wordle is shown above.
Sunday, 12 May 2013
I called him uncle, who was cousin --
distant and yet close.
A hero to me -- probably my first.
A footballer in peacetime.
Professional, who played in goal,
but now in uniform, he drove a tank.
I basked a lot
in his reflected glory
and the jealousy of friends.
He took me to the beach one time --
and took the ball along.
We played a bit. He tried
to teach me a few skills. Nearby,
two rivals building castles in the sand.
One, younger than the other, got my vote.
The older boy was furious,
and bombed and kicked his vier's castle
back into the sand. That done,
he stood upon his own and sang.
Loudly he sang, repetitively, to us all:
I'm the king of the castle,
I'm the king of the castle...
Over and over and louder and louder.
Finally, I ran up to our ball
and kicked it hard in his direction.
Here memory is wanting. Did I score
a direct hit? Or did I miss
and did he lose his balance as he ducked?
At any rate he fell, and I,
to the final strains of I'm
the king of the castle... added
Get down you dirty rascal!
I still am tempted to take down
those who are too triumphant when they win
and who delight in seeing their opponents,
not just beaten but destroyed. You see it
often in the football fan. Perhaps his team
came top. Their greatest rival relegated
and he crows who has been given bragging rights.
Written to the prompt at dVerse Poets (Poetics) where Mary suggests we consider something that we find tempting.
Saturday, 11 May 2013
The sea's fluorescent hues
deepen the shadows of the bay;
the moon's graffiti on the crests
and troughs shine white as chalk
cliffs on a summer's day
and caution as to what the sea
can silently absorb.
In rock pools where the sea
sets out its stall the hermit crab,
the algae, sponges, green leaf worms
and jelly fish are overwhelmed
by bubble wrap and plastic bags,
condoms and bottle tops, tin foil
and wire -- they bring no punters in.
And out beyond the breakers where
the sea heaves like a gasping chest,
now eiderdowned in decayed leaves...
not leaves, as in some woodland pond,
but decayed fish. They swam into
a toxic pool. Fluorescence here
is oil and water: that which cannot wed.
Written for this week's prompt at Imaginary Garden with Real Toads where the suggestion was that we should write a prelude to a poem that does not exist yet.
Wednesday, 8 May 2013
(Written for this week's picture prompt at The Mag, Mary Cassatt's Young Woman Picking the Fruit of Knowledge. )
Does she know
the nature of the fruit she picks?
Has she no inkling of
the consequences that she risks?
Is she an innocent,
a child of nature, one
reacting to the beauties all around?
Or does she satisfy some appetite,
a craving that will not be satisfied?
Is she dependent on the juice of knowledge
for her kicks?
Or is she simply hoarding data for
a rainy day, collecting facts
like sea shells or glass animals,
trivia perhaps for some pub quiz?
We are bedazzled by some beauty that we see,
but knowledge does not grow on trees,
with the tantalising thing
in all its forms;
some element of skill,
some process of the mind.
She may enjoy
her apple, quince or apricot,
but all she knows
is how the apple, quince and apricot compare.
Written for this week's picture prompt at The Mag, Mary Cassatt's Young Woman Picking the Fruit of Knowledge.
Monday, 6 May 2013
Regardless of his many lauded charms,
he has a lot of front, you must agree.
On more than one occasion recently
we've heard him give the boss a dressing down --
and always with a thunderous row the sure result.
I wouldn't trust him further, man,
than I can spit. Mixed messages are what
he'll dish you up -- I cannot even count
in thousands all the times he's thrown me
so far off the scent... well let's just say
he's left me well and truly in the soup
and seeing red, the hot blood pulsing in my veins!
From The Sunday Whirl (#107) these words from which to spin a poem: front, charm, messages, soup, thousand, pulsing, red, thunderous, dressing, count, spit, dish
Sunday, 5 May 2013
Imagine: Kenny. Rising eight,
child with special needs,
highly animated as I tell
Creation's story -- scientific version.
But no Big Bang for us! Continuous Creation. --
That's it. Official version of the day.
Almost, his fever of excitement is too much,
but is cut short. The bell. We file into the hall.
The head's assembly. Today: Creation.
The Book of Genesis. Kenny is confused.
Distressed. He is in agony.
Later, he asks if he may paint.
He takes two sheets of kitchen paper,
tapes the two together and launches into
yet another landscape: mountains, valleys,
trees and flowers, birds and animals,
a river, sun, moon and stars... But then:
two moons and two men in the valley.
One figure is diminutive, he's pointing up
towards the second moon. The other
man towers over him -- and wears a halo round
his head. I ask would Kenny like to talk about...
(Don't ever ask What is it? or far,
far worse What's it supposed to be? )... He nods.
The second moon is not a moon but Sputnik 1
(The Russians launched it recently.)
The little man is Adam and the big man God.
Adam points towards the Sputnik, says:
See God, it's me put that one up!
And God says: what? I ask.
He's got a wee, wee spider in his hand and
he's showing Adam and he says to him
"Well, I jist made this one. Beat that!"
Hoping to ease myself back into writing mode, I have rewritten an old version for submission to Hobgoblin2011's prompt at Poetics: The Creatures Of Mythology, Folklore and Fairy Tales
Saturday, 4 May 2013
beneath a single pine
I make believe its branches
are a forest canopy
look heavenward ---
where I was taught to look for heaven.
White clouds drift by.
(could they be clouds
on which the angels sit?)
No, not a sound of any sort...
The wind is kicking up.
Dust clouds stir.
Sand storms threatening...
Flying Things Hill.
(I idly dream up names for it.)
Every sort of flying thing is here
(barring angels, I'm afraid):
gnats. midges. birds and bees.
Butterflies (the green
hair streak, for one) and ants.
An unidentified F.O... I have
just seen the first Wright
Brothers' version of a dragon fly...
You laugh, my friend? All things
are possible up here. This hill was put
together in the Southern Hemisphere --
The Falkland Islands' latitude, in fact.
PreCambrian is this, survivor of
the global ice age, and of flooding by
a shallow Cambrian sea, to share in
that time's burgeoning new life,
transported here by Tecto Couriers. Com
to fill this Shropshire space with its white
sand, its trilobites and pebbles from its beach.
Above the canopy, above the heads
of angels and other flying things:
a Jumbo jet, much smaller than a bee,
and yet its baneful spray,
invisible to you and me,
affects the lesser flying things
and us -- incalculably!
If it was black, the rain
that falls from it, and not invisible
I doubt we ever would
have sanctioned it. I turn my head,
cheek into heather,
spiked by bits of gorse,
and catch my breath again:
the sun-fired purples make you think
the whole heath is alight.
Beyond the virtual flames
a glider station; sail planes
flying off the ridge.
A stone chat lands nearby,
looks round at me, takes in the view,
then follows two hang gliders out
into the empty space, exploring with them
the Long Mynd's wild extremes.
I turn my head the other way:
children flying kites. Time now
to head for home below the ridge
to glass and concrete cliffs
and concrete trees, their cables
little more in evening light
than first attempts by a small child
at ruling pencil lines. We leave
the whinberries (bilberries
if you are not a local) and six-
-teen Bronze Age burial mounds
to inch our way along the single track
of loose sand, packed with cars,
to marvel at the sudden blaze
of fiery red the sun now gives
the scene. a blaze that puts
the once-bright hues of sailplanes
firmly in the shade.
The image is made available under the Creative Commons Attribution Share-alike License. The copyright holder is Sean Hattersley
Apologies for my unannounced absence, due, I am afraid to a health hiccup.(My previous post proved all too prophetic!)
Tuesday, 30 April 2013
harrowing, you might say,
seeing all that blood run out of me
thin and watery,
Not blood that I might recognise
as being mine,
yet knowing it
as blood drawn from my very marrow
by those foul grubs,
those slaves of Satan.
I saw all this,
but could not guess
the depths to which my tattered soul
was being dragged,
how spirit can be borrowed
for a wickedness so rare
that one must either
march beneath its flag
or take the oath that leads --
as it has now led me --
to ultimate destruction.
Written for The Sunday Whirl #106
Sunday, 28 April 2013
Mum had promised the zoo,
the doctor shook his head
and vanished in a puff of pipe smoke
through the chimney breast.
Next up was mum
holding in her hands a camel's head --
the rest was parked behind,
zebra-striped and in its hump
a tiny first-aid cupboard door
from which mum took
a glass thermometer
for sticking under tongues.
I must have blinked
a quite amazing blink
that swapped the kitchen
and the bathroom round.
I saw mum wave a silver wand
and heard a noise and turned about
to see a great big crocodile
splash water from the bath
and pick the bones of what remained
of Peter's rubber duck.
A train came by
which all got on --
aunts, uncles, distant cousins,
folk I'd never seen.
We sat in open trucks.
They said it was a wonderland.
I swear we never moved,
and all I saw was fog --
until the train pulled in at last
and I lay in my bed.
And mother with the doctor's bottle,
bottle green and fluted glass,
the tallest cork I'd ever seen,
and -- as I now believe --
in big red letters,
LAUDANUM on the side.
Written for the prompt at dVerse Poets by ManicDdaily to Trip the Poem Fantastic -- the emphasis being on TRIP, of course.
Saturday, 27 April 2013
#1 Leaves falling from the Tree of Life : spring comes to the garden.
#2 The Big Bang : God throws his paintbox at the biggest blank canvas ever.
#3 Therapy : I found these patterns on the edge of nowhere.
Sunburst : a cancer cell emitting electromagnetic signals.
#4 The Tower of Babel : a tumour of a million cancer cells, all emitting their unique electromagnetic signals.
#5 Landscape without figures : we pick out the pieces which best fit the landscape we have within.
#6 This egg yolk is not an egg yolk, but a fungus : nothing came of it.
#7 Speak to the hand, the ears aint listening : Adam and Eve talking to their three children about the consequences of sin.
#8 Pornography : the three children put into practice what their parents told them.
#9 A string bag : the strings vibrate to the distortions of time and space.
Friday, 26 April 2013
Round the aspen's trunk, the squirrel's double helix -- one up, one down,
like Aunt May's little house whose garden boasts the magic tree.
In my mind's eye the squirrel weaves the DNA I'm sure they share!
Written for dVerse Poets where Samuel Peralta is introducing us to this form of Korean Poetry.
Thursday, 25 April 2013
into this small wood
has been compressed
a world too large for it.
the world beyond the trees
was decompression chamber
which now is stressed
beyond the measurable
allowing interested parties
to deny the data --
than the dry results
of number crunching.
of old resources
established weather patterns
present a united front
What moves between these verticals? Moves
horizontally. Run. Scamper. Scuttle. Flit.
Swoop. Lollop. crawl. Instinctively we plot
trajectories runs paths tapestries
of movement. Catch
the sparrow hawk. His dive-bomb dive.
Gate crash through the canopy. Becomes
one of the verticals.
Does it bring the tapestry alive?
Or is it rent in twain?
transposed as Two-.
in here it has been said
is where God died
or has been buried
Something like that.
Wednesday, 24 April 2013
The resilience of the plants to survive
against all odds a winter such as we
have just experienced... what doesn't
kill you, hardens I suppose. But some
were killed. Chrysanthemums. (The very
ones which seemed the hardiest of all.)
Shocked. Water-boarded -- plant variety.
A few found shelter. Some under snow.
Bluebells, for example, honoured their
appointments, but with energy full spent.
Yet still you'll need to look with care
to see the gaps the weather makes in land.
Some early plants still struggle - and
this well into spring. Most thrive and
little by little nature keeps its promise.
But even so, they've shipped in extra
daffodils to circumvent the shortfall in
the shops. Some traders even selling silk
or plastic blooms that made a bomb -- or so
I have been told. But then again, some
customers have been appalled and charged
the traders with being eco-infidels -- or
do I mean insurgents (of the green variety?
Written in response to The Sunday Wordle Post #105
Tuesday, 23 April 2013
How all the others lean on her or lay themselves across her back. Untidy bales of hay. She stoops CRUSHED beneath the withered corpses. Either side REVIVAL. RESURRECTION Day. trumpets sound their yellow notes bright as that first day when they were wings... were they wings...? are they wings? The yellow sound surges wavers... Image of wings whose wings? Hers? Maybe she is/was an angel what sort of? of death? Too hot that's what did for her -- and all the others. Never so tightly packed in life never so close. Death huddles them together.