Local countryside poems
Quiet unhurried emptiness
Shops ever half closed
The smell of coffee, the must of leaves
Old couples huddled in café’s
With their sweet things
Nestled in saucers
The Post Bus ever marooned
Waiting for child ghosts
The too many Banks impose
Their rich paint antiquainting
A tractor passes
Then another laden with manure
For next year’s human food
Or for sunflowers
To feed birds
Then a tin chime from the stone church
The fountain too adds a missing tone
With the war memorial to the losers
An unhurried emptiness
Halfway around a walk in countryside
Being in the countryside I am fortunate
In any direction, I can walk and cogitate.
Bess the Norfolk terrier prancing
Sniffing, pulling, rat romancing.
Up a long hill first while I have the legs,
A plod through cold wintered grass dregs.
Then at the top I can look all around
Fields and valleys wind backdrop sound.
A distant river runs through a gorge, deep grey,
The watered sun comes out to play.
Now the walk is an easier flat.
Bess spies what seems a feral cat.
She pulls harder then is sharp still
Plunges paws into fresh mole hill.
Crows explode, rise and punctuate
Racous caw cries in some debate.
Down now, easier on an old green lane
Passing farmers fields now brown and plain.
Grey skies rolled in to defeat the sun
And silent snow flicker falls shrieking fun.
Snowflakes soft melt gentle on my face
I unconciously increase my pace
A village nestles near down below
With the prize of excellent coffee
I must go
Church with high cream spire
Church with high cream
In the clouds if any
Clock clanks out every
Over cenotaph marking slaughter
Doors nine hundred years
Pigeons shelter from the
Three people inside little warmer
Taking mass with priestly charmer
He comes out black on
Against the snow of the
The clock whirrs then
In the distance hunter's
Old woman out too coughing loudly
Crossing herself and road proudly
Silence now nothing
Except the sighs of wind blown firs
This peace in the
A haven in which to
Suddenly I am out of the trance
The distant siren of an ambulance
Louder until it rips on
A reminder that life is a messy glue
Receding now to restore
Silence at last a heady
The church has seen it all before
Nine hundred years of love and war
A small water creature slithers somewhere.
I see ripples on the still surface
Connecting me to water, to matter.
Slowly the first tiring wave
Limps to my shore.
Its brothers are they sisters follow
One by one, each weaker and weaker
Until there are no more.
Until another pebble falls from the bank
Or another creature stirs.
I put my finger in the pool.
I wiggle it.
I am here too.
I am by a small pond.
It is summer and I am happy.
I am alone.
In the distance I can see my town.
There is a deep blue sky.
There is no wind.
I reach down and push my hand
Into the coolness, the wetness.
The ripples move away.
Silver and slower they spread
To the far bank.
I have no more energy to give them.
I am limp.
I have signalled
In the way of things.
Swan, dead, white
As in sleep
Head under broken wing
Drifting on steady current
The only way now
Is mocked by hole bobbing rats
Sparrows twitter the passing past
Crows see carrion
Wait to land by landing
Lick beaks in anticipation
White feathers ruffle
Soft in softer breeze
Limp body turning slow
Round and round
The future ahead
The past behind
The head slips
A now ugly blood tongue
Rudders the water
Neck a snake
Butting, bobbing, waving
Mocking life’s moves
Victim of the water
It slides sudden
Over the weir
A lubricated rag
Into foam and frenzy
Crashing falling on dead ears
After the slog up hill
The reward under my feet
Nature's winter patchwork
Lit in the sun's absent heat
Fields richly fresh ploughed
Iced and chocolate brown
Trees shimmer light in mist
River's deep distant gash a frown
Three hundred degrees I can see
Five toy villages nestle and hide
Black cold crows the woodland spurn
Seeking and eeking out in turn
I move on down a frosty lane
Ice patched with sun lit sheen
Mind nurtured by nature's gifts
On a wintery walking scene
The birds avoid flight,
Hot footed they roost
Cats tongues out sprawled like dogs
Dogs nowhere to be seen
A ping of sound from a distance invisible church
God help the bell ringer
The air is molasses still
Barely giving breath
The sky a forced solid blue
Clouds a memory
I lay in long brown straight grass
We burn together in worship of the sun
No movement, no exhaustion
A spec of down struggles to me
Slowly winds down
Descends and settles on my nose
Of all the noses in this burning universe
It chose mine
I am too lazy to remove it
My breath is its next energy
To send it on its way
Trailing your hand in a warm river
But still cooler than you are
A delicious time
Drifting on the blue green peace
The sun behind a cloud
Heaven to your heated brain
A duck outstrips your drifting hulk
Black button eyes regard you
With a necessary suspicion
A true psychologist's intuition
The hum of life all around
Timing just right
Or dislocated, jarring
Scarring your time
To pain your very eyes
So being human we understand
Pond at night
A pond on a windless, silent night.
Under a cloud filtered, moonlit-dark sky
Flat matter that cannot be identified.
But a startled water bird
Flaps its wings in frightened flight.
And then all is clear.
A crescendo of energy effects
Revealed in wave after wave
Silver blue ripples.
The silence brokenTo tell me where I am, now
Towards the merry horizon
Dotted with fluff trees
A scented wind sucked breeze
The drone of machine chewing
Grinding ground killing life
To Lazarus rise fresh pastures
Next year after the sword frosts
Towards the hazy horizon birds circle another funeral
A dead rabbit torn by hunters
In leather dress uniform
Breathing schnapps through yellow teeth
As noisy as their guns
Here insects with obvious busy glee
Eat pieces of the me
That sits too busy in mind to move
Looking at the distant dark blue
Yellow white fluff signals another tag
The promise of mortar and God’s own plaster
Holes to be filled walls smoothed
A reduced scene on another horizon.
Wet freezing day
It is a wet freezing day
Warming up or cooling down
No idea from behind this window
The pigeons defy torpor
They move as briskly as in spring
When they gorge on high fat bread
Now they jerk and peck at ice grass
I am cold boned just looking
The birds make me jealous
Of their energy
A must I suppose for life.
I am not so sad
But this grey winter’s day
Hardly makes me glad
The wind with the snow
Play as an impish team
They put on a scurrilous show
A squirrel evil black
Fidgets down a tree
Then jerk hops with arched back
To find some buried food treasure
Hidden awhile ago
To be taken at leisure
On this winter’s day
Of its short life
One clap and it is fast away
Mindless things do not feel cold
I am cold all through my body
To the very centre of my brain
I have to concentrate to breathe
I cannot move
The pigeons must be cold
Though they give little away
Jerking heads at the frozen dust
With their fat bodies
Their eager bright eyes
They are clockwork
Squirrels too defy nature
The real jerks of the park
Toys too, surely
People fair worse
Despite high tech skins
Today is sunny
With a blue sky
Yesterday was wet
Grey humid cold
Tomorrow could be either
I hope it snows
Clean for an hour
To muffle the city
Cover the slime
Slow up the U bahn
Melt on heads
For tiny black snow firsts
To wonder and throw
Get laughing chapped handVirgin snow is maybe not so innocent