Sunday, 19 October 2014

The dog in the canal and other stories

Dear Monty,


The dog sleeps with me
At the end of my bed
I snore
And so does he
We cancel each other out

Sue sleeps undisturbed in her bedchamber
Red and sunlit
View over the mountain

Toff and I walk the coal tip
We admire unintended artworks formed by dumped builders rubble
Brick and roof tile cairns
Like graves of ancients

We stroll around the old cemetery at the top of the hill
Graves subsumed by brambles and ash trees
We stop and watch the piglets in the field

I find the grave of a former neighbour
Laid to rest last year
She visited parts of this world I will never see
Now her remains lie here
In this damp plot
Already becoming entangled in brambles
We are soon forgotten

Ebola continues to kill the poor
I go out and rake up leaves
The clouds move fast
Sunlight hits the hills in the distance


29 years together

We strolled around through Herefordshire mists
The gentle rolling hills and vales revealing themselves slowly
The chocolate soil puddled and soft
We pick up leaves of varied hue
Red orange yellow lime and blue

Longhorn bullocks snort in the lower field
Webs glisten on the fences
Ravens follow us from Wales

We stroll around the farm
Entertaining the grandchildren
While lamb roasts


After a week of bad decisions
I console myself with Claire
'Walking Home'


Going over

Like the garden
I am slowly going over


The dog in the canal

The dog dives into the canal
Stuck in the mud
A two-tone whippet

The sluice shut
The canal almost dry

I'm dry like an autumn leaf
I wither
I need the softness of love
But produce thorns

I need berries
But produce spiked fruits

It is a mystery
One too hard to solve
Too painful perhaps
Seeing my own want of depth
I'm as shallow as the draining canal

What is blessing to one
Is a curse to another


Yours sincerely


Sunday, 5 October 2014

October - without the 'toad of irony'

Dear Monty,

Grayson Perry as quoted in the Guardian magazine yesterday said that; 'Britain has the toad of irony sitting on it '

Making things that represent actual places or people are no longer valid in this 'contemporary' world.
But October clears the air.

Leaves crisply fall
The light thins to a watery silver-gilt
Blue eyes like crystal shine in it

I must live on the other side of the valley
The consuming passion consumed
Leaving entrails in the wood

The chainsaw rasps of dirt bikes
And the whiff of petrol fumes
Hang in the thin air

Reds russets golds and yellows
Trees reveal their shape
Branches are lopped to reveal views

The mountain turns gold
I heed the rules
The guide was consumed by them
Before devouring my disobedience

He swallows it down whole
And creates a rest deeper than the roots of this mountain
Deeper than any coal black hell


Here I sit with Ted Hughes and Shelley
And the tin watercolour box of the prophetess
She delivers the word of God into the heart like softly falling leaves
They fall into your soul
The beauty of dying speaks

I have met many prophets
Some do not know that they speak
They are spiritual people linked to the colours of this life
The ever changing light
Sometimes gilded
Sometimes dark
Sometimes so beautiful you can only weep

I have heard them
The land sings with them - even in death
Rest in light
Be subsumed by it.


post script - just read this part of ' The Invitation' by Shelley ;

Radiant Sister of the Day,
Awake! arise! and come away !
To the wild woods and the plains,
And the pools where winter rains
Image all their roof of leaves,
Where the pine its garland weaves
Of sapless green and ivy dun
Round stems that never kiss the sun;
Where lawns and pastures be,
And the sand-hills of the sea; - .....