Saturday, 11 November 2017

Not a word said

Granddad sitting by the fire
Said nothing of his past
That time
That other time
Just sometimes he made
A joke about the lice
And how he'd used a match
To clear them from his vest
Night, night sleep tight
Mind the bugs...
Working men like him
Said little
I didn't know
He'd lost a brother.
And his beloved working horses
Gone to war with him
Didn't come back.
I had to go to others
For those tales.
Sassoon's descriptions
Still haunt
The word bloated
Makes me nauseous
Oh it wasn't glorious
That people like Granddad
Saw things they shouldn't
Not a word said
Never forgot

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Here's water from the rock

Here's water from the rock,
Flowing but sluggish.
This has been salted
By a malevolent time.
It reaches out for the parched earth,
Surrounded by sparse clumps
Of grey-green leaves.
The trickle struggles against the heat
Through a landscape where nothing
Eases the burnt-out eye.
The water's persistent though.
It pushes across miserable dust
Until it dies!
Leaving only
A rank, malignant-smelling, stain

Friday, 18 August 2017

Anger in Pall Mall

We're in a public space.
It's a large, ornate, room,
Shared with other "business people."
Groups sit round small tables
Talking in moderate, measured, tones.
We are talking, low over a spreadsheet;
Planning the next job, probably.
My mobile rings and I go outside to answer it,
Standing in a cubby hole that smells of furniture polish.
The voice at the other end's cajoling.
It almost begs and I feel flattered.
Do I think of you?
Perhaps, but briefly, and I say yes.
As I say it, I know you will be furious.
And you are, very angry,
More angry than I knew you could be.
Your voice is loud.
People stop their conversations
To listen to you rant.
Then you stop, look round and glare.
Up you stand; for one moment still as a statue
Just staring at me.
Then you're gone.
In a few seconds, you pass the window
Storming down Pall Mall to the tube.
Later, I realise the nature of the problem!
I know why it caused so much noise.
I'd got what you believed you had already.
And you'd have happily excused yourself;
Too good to miss…just had to take it!
Leaving me betrayed instead of "the betrayer."

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

It's just business you say.

Cotswold stone on a wet afternoon.
The light is on at three.
But, it isn't cosy.
We've avoided arguments all day
Here, in your fourth-bedroom office.
"This isn't working" you say.
No, it isn't;
It wasn't going to, was it?
Perhaps, if you'd told the truth?
I was naive you say,
This is business after all
And you needed an insurance.
How did you know you could trust me?
The trouble is, I did trust you.
The rain stops.
So, we go for a walk.
The dog comes with us.
She leads the way,
An enthusiastic,
Straight forward kind of dog!
We stop to look over a gate;
Sheep in the failing light.
The dog is tempted but knows better.
We're kind of friends again, for now.
It's just business you say.
But, I don't like it much.

Saturday, 12 August 2017

So, dear Mary

So, dear Mary,
What shall we make of this?
Old as time you stand
In a cool, green, silent, place.
Suffering though time,
You're bearing the forever wound.
A womb torn for the world by
Something of fate and history.
So many stories around you,
Like little children
Tugging at your skirts.
Tales of myth and magic;
All tinged with rosy mystery.
And still,
Regardless of divinity,
Your pain goes through the years.
Bringing us, perhaps,
As close to infinity
As we shall dare to contemplate.

Monday, 31 July 2017

Contemplating Tertullian

I'm following this online course about the early Christian church. I'm not sure why really but it is interesting. Anyway today's lecture was about the church in North Africa and introduced us to Tertullian. Afterwards I felt moved to write this.

Contemplating Tertullian, born in Carthage around 160 CE. 

Tertullian - Christian apologist
A Christian apologist?
One in a long line to rant
From Paul to ...
William Lane Craig perhaps,
With his interest in divine aseity.
Aseity, I hear you say
What's that?
A being exists in and of itself.
Convenient isn't it?
And it has its positive points;
Absolute independence,
Total self-sufficiency.
Yes, that has its attractions.
But what about the negative?
Well, it's unchanging;
Incapable of change.
Now, that sounds grim.
Anyway back to Tertullian.
He, like God, was conservative.
Didn't like women much.
Thought us the gateway to the devil.
But then he thought everyone was a bit iffy.
Conceived in sin,
Each soul was bound to Satan.
Its just that we women were
Closer to the dark side.
I don't like Tertullian much,
Apologist or not.

Sunday, 30 July 2017

Will Power

If I knew for sure
Would I concur
In the erosion
Of my will?
I think not.
Only suspecting,
I dismiss resisting.
Give in!
In your concept
Of a freedom.

Saturday, 29 July 2017

Jelly Fish

I dream of jelly fish,
Floating softly
In a blue-grey, humid, mist.
A vast array.
A bloom of jelly on the tide.

I dream of jelly fish.
And each one has
A single eye.

An eye
Like that of an old man,
And chill

I dream of jelly fish.
And each one has an eye,
Half-focused somewhere distant
Like the sky.

Do jelly fish dream?
Perhaps they dream
Of jelly fish Cockayne,
Lost land of watery content.
Or maybe darker places,
Painful to remember,
Like their stings.

Sunday, 25 June 2017

The writer telling tales

I do not like
That you will blend the truth.

You see, I remember
What you said before.

That had the scent of truth.
This doesn't.

I do not like
You misrepresent a view
You were too quick to hold.

You said you did not like my kind.
You said it clearly.

 But now, teller of tales…

Oh now, you've changed
Oh now, you love us dearly.

We are so precious when it suits.

 Such pragmatism
 Has me squirming in my chair.

And a sickly scent of rotting fruit
Is in the air as you go global
With a lie.