yet another poem about inspiration and writing style. I particularly enjoyed playing with rhythms and sounds in this one. it´s definitely one for reading aloud.
I usually write rhymes
About things I can see
I rhyme about lakes and
about mountains and trees
But sometimes I rhyme rhymes
about things that are not
so immediately obvious
and easy to spot
I scribble sometimes some rhymes
about love or about fear
don´t rhyme each time
and sometimes the end is too near
This rhyme is simple and easy
I´ve written a rhyme where the
rhythm is clear
I rattle, rock and roll and I ramble away
and the lines will all rhyme and my words won´t betray
me `cause it´s just silly play
I´ll move and I´ll sway
I´ll eat love and pray
and we can chill out at the end of the day
“NIGHTWIDE MIND” (repost from a 2016 entry)
Searching for signals from deep in the sublime
The portal being opened from within our time
We direct our gaze at the outern edge
And to one another we make this solemn pledge
“That never more shall your ears fail to see,
That knowledge of wisdom found deep in the trees”
And entranced we march into the gaping jaws
Of night’s dark terror, which gives us no pause
The delight which drags us on to our doom,
Is unlike to be found in a twilit tomb
But the open air of the hilltop crest
Would lead us happily to our rest
And while our fellow actors lie in wait,
We stand alone upon the slate
Our roles to be played in the act of defence
The land we cherished has lost all its sense
Ourselves alone searching for a starry home
And a fitting end to a meaningless poem.
I held you back for years, but you,
You held me through my tears, my childlike helplessness.
But I regret being such a mess.
You can move on, I’m not too strong but
Strong enough to say sorry
The best thing to do
The times I’ve blocked your view
Or the headlong adventure you craved
We can still look for them together
The opportunities change, no matter
I brought you here content
And whatever else I meant
It wasn’t to crush you or hide you under a bush
Yet I’m afraid of heights still,
But I’m getting there, you and me
Shining out our light, upon the hill.
Hello river, my old friend
I cross above you at day’s end
As my work begins,
The night does fall
And I wonder about the point of it all
For like you, river, I am running daily
And where I reach it never fails me
My joys I must often compromise,
But you, dear friend, are a balm for my eyes.
(This is from December 2019, when of course, I actually did cross the bridge to get to work, and when I was particularly enjoying the work of English nature poet John Clare)
I hoisted my bawling burden on my shoulder
Like a sack of sausages.
His little feet beat in futile frustration against my chest,
Like the hammers on an unstrung piano.
Gradually his sobs subsided
to the occasional snuffle and I could once again allow my ears to open,
as though I were a camel resurfacing after a sandstorm.
I dreamt I was a photojournalist in a time of rising tension. The weather went from sun in park to hail. People scratched themselves with swastikas and wore secret russian signs, and yet it was a liberal government who were hanging us out to dry.
Closing down the camera shops and Russian owned cafés with a promise of more space in which to live. Yet these storefront were bricked up and our cameras could not get fixed, while whispers told us Merkel would halp us to survive.
Where did those whispers come from, I asked myself later, was that evictor one of Merkel’s men for true? And should I use my elite connection to buy more camera equipment, or tattoo my face and seduce fascists like my colleagues decide to do.
And as I woke and write these lines I see the parallels, we work in a world where nothings as it seems, and everybody is scared, lashing out in different ways, and few have the courage to dare to act to avoid more of these bad dreams
If I were still a Christian, this is the time I’d pray
Clasp my hands like Metternich
Waste my words day by day
If I were a televangelist, I’d be roaring praise the Lord
Stamping my feet and shaking
With the adoration of the horde
Indeed were I a firm believer in a philosophy of Fate
Stoically bearing pain,
I’d be uninterested in hate
I was never a good Christian nor a stoic or a sage,
And yet now I must decide
how to live within this age
Should I, like King Canute of old, sit enthroned upon the shore
while waves of blue do undermine
and leave the kingdom insecure
I sit back and wonder at the rising of the sun
The morning dew still falling, the grasses glisten
The city’s waking up, I can tell, the buses have started to run
And the early dog walkers clatter past
Coaxing and cursing in equal measure
While I sit writing at my leisure
For me the day starts as any other
My occupations and engagements far away
I might have coffee with my brother
Or read a book by the canal, of the sky’s not too grey
I just came home from a literary event which I helped to organise, and I got some lovely feedback (from audience, not speakers, thankfully). I’m a relative newbie at reading my own poems in particular, despite having recited some Heaney and Yeats at an event last July, and I found it difficult to decide how best to approach speaking.
I had this question going through my head when I was asked to read at a poetry event in Alboraya, a village just outside Valencia in June. I had a poem that felt urgent and I think that the crowd almost felt scared by my overblown theatricality during delivery. Afterwards I reasoned that maybe I had gone too far too fast.
So my question is, how do you like your poetry delivered? With gusto? With boiling rage? With raw emotion and urgency? With quiet passion? Slowly and deliberately enunciated? Or with humour and self-deprecation?
Answers on a postcard please. Expect a new(ish) poem soon.
Richard Thompson ringing
around my head
The songs he is singing
His fine stories he tells
In words so fair
While my poems they fall
on empty air
He writes songs of love
and of Heartbreak too
While my efforts at rhyme
Are all a bit poo