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A sonnet for my niece Chloe; written after shopping for her wedding dress.

 

Chloe’s Wedding Gown

 

A cascade fall of satin fairy-tales,

still drape from golden rails. A silken stream

of  ivory, of pearl. Lace flower trails

between soft organza and love’s young dream.

 

The robe, a puff of candy floss delight,

adorned with sequins, pearly beads and bows.

The veil, a froth of voile, bejewelled and white.

The sparkling shoes revealing painted toes.

 

But this is not for you. You will decide –

no glitz, no glam. On fancy frills, you’d frown.

Just fresh wild roses, flowers, for this bride

to hold before a simple long white gown.

 

For that’s all sugar spun, a pretty trim.

Your beauty Chloe, comes from deep within.

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My Blue Mug

My Blue Mug.

You sit there,

Upside down beside the sink

Draining.

A dribble of stale water,

imbued with left-over lunch, grease,

soap, slides secretly

over blue porcelain

leaving an unseen trail of lies.

 

Yet to my friends

you appear clean, bright, fun

who wouldn’t choose you

to hold their favourite drink,

Lapsang, Ceylon, Earl-Grey.

Columbian, Kenyan,

Brazilian blends,

who wouldn’t choose you?

 

You were a welcome gift.

A firm favourite.

But you soured the milk,

scorched the tongue,

tainted the tea,

embittered the coffee.

 

Still your blue porcelain shines,

But should one turn you over

Look inside –

They will see the stains.

The fine hair line cracks.

The rings of grime.

Once I loved you.

Now you are no longer mine.

 

Who am I ?

Who am I?

I am before and after,
and somewhere in-between.
A dream on a sleepless night.
A long bitter struggling fight.

 

I am a changing name
spoken or sung
by those who love me, and I love,
who sing my name in varied song.

 

I am Mother, Daughter, Sister, Lover,

Listener, Healer, Joker, Speaker,
Watcher, Gardener,

Writer, Friend.

 

I am here to tend,
to mend,
to reach out.
To hug the world with words.

 

I spring from tragedy to hope.
I spring from death to cope.
I spring from the sky, the sea, the fire,
the stubborn grit of stone.

 

My father is the land, the seed, the grass.
The deep rooted tree.
My mother is a singing bird, a bard,
A lilting melody.

 

Many are greater than I.
They mould the world with
money, power, guns.
But I
with a sigh,
a word,
a trembling caress,
may cause a ripple across
its breathe.

The Road to Dabaad

Here is a poem I wrote about the victims of the terrible famine in Somalia trying to make their way to the Dabaad refugee camp in Kenya. My niece Ingrid has been in the camp trying to organise the delivery of 2000 shelter boxes www.shelterbox.org I am so proud of her.

Anyway here’s the poem.

 

The Road to Dabaad.

 

The path there is long,

stumble on…

on…on…

this dry acrid track.

Don’t look back!

Withered grass

crumbles and mingles

with the dust of those passed.

Darkness surrounds –

A thick searing shroud

of African sun

 

Bleaching life.

Bleaching bones.

Bleaching hope.

 

On such a scope

that we at home

Greedily

Gorging

Guzzling

cannot atone

 

switch off

 

from frail

stick brittle bundles.

Tears of flies

In forgotten eyes,

 

Blistered life.

Blistered bones.

Blistered hope.

 

The road there is long

With the dead

looking on…

on… on…

The stench of pain;

The grief of flight.

The right to regain

 

New life.

New bones.

New hope.

I was reading Stevie Smiths Poem Not Waving but Drowning when I heard the sad and shocking news of the death of Amy Winehouse. This poem was the result of the two things getting tangled together.

Link to Stevie Smiths poem http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/not-waving-but-drowning/

Amy – Waving or Drowning?

 

They told me you were waving not drowning.

They say she’s a mess?

Oh! but that’s just the press

Yeah! She’s waving not drowning.

 

They said she’s waving not drowning.

Look at her money.

Look at her talent.

Look at her voice.

She must be waving not drowning.

 

Is she waving or drowning?

She’s waving.

See how the kids are all waving back,

raving like crazy,

like they’ve all taken smack.

Maybe they’re drowning?

And she’s waving back.

 

She’s waving goodbye

and drowning her sorrow.

Drowning out the damn pain

she won’t feel tomorrow.

Don’t say she was waving

This was her last refrain.

 

Waving or Drowning?

In the end it’s the same,

If no-one can see,

there’s no-one to blame.

My Garden

I love to work in my garden and at this time of year it’s at its most delightful, with the swallows swooping and diving overhead, and mother woodpecker feeding her young the nuts from the hanger.

I have a series of raised beds, making it easier for me to work from the wheelchair.

Here is a poem I wrote about it. It  is a study of alliteration and rhyme.

View from the vegetable patch (taken by my daughter Beckie)

My Garden

In the dappled dusk of evening,

In summers sultry sun,

In autumns faded aging,

And winters wild and numb.

 

In the soft sunshine of spring time,

In the wild and windy night,

In the overgrown orchard,

Full of fresh fruit and delight.

 

In the bright blue of a bluebell,

In the freshness of it’s flower,

In the dampening dew at daybreak,

Through each and every hour.

 

In the twirling of a tendril,

In the fragile ferns young frond,

In the rampant rambling roses,

Through the trellis and beyond.

 

In the rich, soft, crumbling soil,

In the planting of a pea,

In the crickets chequered chirping,

Beneath the old oak tree.

 

In the pastel pink of petals,

In the dancing daisies play,

In the shady silent places,

Where the moistened mosses stay.

 

In the bright and blooming bustle,

In the colours crystal clear,

In the chirrup of a chaffinch,

Perched in the pear tree near.

 

In the beauty of a butterfly,

In the falling of a leaf,

In the clambering clinging ivy,

Which the beetles live beneath.

 

In the lovely lilac lavender,

In it’s dreamy drowsy scent,

In the hot house and herb bed,

Surely Heaven sent.

 

In my glorious gorgeous garden,

In my heart it’s healing me,

From the tangled twisted torture,

It has finally set me free.

Between Two Nowheres

It appeared in the night sky.

A thin bright streak of light,

a slash across the heavens,

instantly healed.

It came from nowhere.

 

For a few brief seconds

I stood in awe.

I would have missed it

had my gaze been on the ground.

No-one else saw.

 

Except a small child

who pointed skyward,

eyes alight and bright.

It came and vanished.

From nowhere to nowhere.

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