Tanka Summer 1 Garden meditations during an unusually hot English Summer Panting dogs lie prone, Birds make gargantuan gapes Gasping for cool air. Fishes, pouting from the pond, Blow kisses to damsel flies. On clear gauzy wings, Dragonflies and lacewings skim
Spectre with a Hood Spectre with a Hood Most days I see him, the spectre with a hood. Head and rounded shoulders bent forward he walks, No, trudges the country road I always use On my frequent forays into the town. Clad in faded camouflage gear he carries In one hand a plastic supermarket bag While his shoulders tote a flaccid rucksack. He is looking neither forward nor sideways, But always downwards, he is oblivious To the white cow parsley in the verges, To the late blackthorn and the may blossom Emerging from which a startled blackbird, Cackling her alarm call, darts across his face. Such strange behaviour, I say to my friends Who reply ‘He’s off for his free methadone’, Dismissive as if this answer explains all.
Shanty TownsGhost-like waifs in ragged shrouds haunt refuse tipsHaggard mothers dry suckle big bellied babesBeggars, beseeching, stare from sightless socketsOur brothers and sisters in another land.Who live in shacks of tin in shanty towns.Don't tell me about your bloody headache!
SolitudinemThe picture is Dresden.'Solitudinem faciunt et pacem appellant'.They created a wilderness and called it peace.Tacitus AD 56 - 117Roman Senator and Historian on the conquest of Gaul.
Inter noctemInter noctem obscuram et frigidamCandela lucida in fenestra es.Two lines in traditional blank verse.
Whrerever you goUbicumque vadis,Quodcumque facis,Ibi tecum adero.
The world was never my oysterThe world was never my oysterNor was there a bowl of cherries.It seemed as if I inched upwardsInside a greasy glass until,Elbows over the brim, I slid downThen tried again. Life's like that.
The Epic Poem BeowulfThe epic poem Beowulf was composed in Old English, Anglo-Saxon verse in the 8th Century but the oral material on which the written version is based dates back to the 6th Century.It is the first story to be written down in our language but the events it describes take place in Denmark. It has come down to us in the only surviving manuscript which now sits in the British Museum.Beowulf is pure legend with a simple and straightforward plot. It is the story of an aristocratic hero , presented in a series of significant actions from his youth to his old age facing ogres and the powers of evil; mainly in opposition to the monster Grendel. Beowulf lives in a boasting, hard drinking, feasting and contentious warrior society. Much of the action takes place in the great hall Heorot, the Hall of the Stag. Out of the many characters in the poem there are only two women. The queen, Waltheow, and Grendel's mother.I have studied a number of translations from the Old English over
Person from PorlockApparently the poet Coleridge was in a drug induced dream. Upon waking, he set about writing lines of poetry that came to him from the dream until he was interrupted by a person from Porlock. The poem could not be completed as the interruption caused him to forget the lines. Very annoying I think.Do they have to come always at teatimeOr in the middle of a radio play?When the dogs are sharp set and waiting to eatOr I'm relaxing with slippers and pipe?Well,we all have our person from Porlock.Mine is, Grrrr! The Avon Lady.
Steam (Glass Jars Haiku)half-full of emptymemories breathe us againstboth sides of the glass
Frozenthe windows - frozenshut, melted away the fright of the morning snow
WordA word is a keySo listen carefully, itwill unlock your heart.
gray day thoughts (tanka)life passes fora day and a seasonand then is gonewaves you createdbreak on distant shores
lap cat napsleeping isa cat's primaryfunction
universe (miyoji)there is morethere there thanhere here
Almost ThereA light flickersAt the end of the tunnel;I am almost home.
muting onsight not soundthe word still getsaround
Own Personal JailerI stay down all day;Never satisfied, she hurlsAbuse like boulders.
Palaeothic Art The mind in the cave At Altamira Paints rock face red with ochred Bison, horse, lion, Megafauna come to life. Yet in one corner The tiny stencilled hand print Says 'Kilroy was here'.