Category: poems

Blogging the Future

S hots in the dark can be dangerous.
U ploading crap is a crime.
S pinning a parable’s tedious.
T elling old tales just wastes time.
A s for what actually works in the long run,
I t waits outside any virtual plan –
N othing’s beyond a rhyme.

 

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Image: carrie creates.

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To A Granddaughter, Aged Four

Here’s another stab at a poem I posted a while ago. I think it’s sufficiently different to warrant a fresh outing. Click this link to see the original version – Beached

 

So you – sights set upon horizons – ask
For tales of bygone days when I was young
And just set sail myself. What spring to mind
Are moments when, for me, an unknown world
Emerged in truth from sugar-coated sham –
Awakenings in sudden storms, high seas.

The shore you leave with newly-opened eyes
Is where I ended up once time and tide
Grew tired of play and cast me skin and bone
Above the last-gasp breaker. Don’t confuse
These stray salt-streaks upon my face for tears
Nor think me thoughtless when I let fine sand
Fall soft through slackened fingers, so to speak,
For childhood’s visions are as hard to grasp
As specks of gold to sift from sediment
Or meanings to distil from mists of time.

And who can truly claim that he recalls?
So much is lost in transit – fire burned down
To faintly-glowing embers – vivid frames,
From floors of cutting-rooms, rough-spliced at random.

Take your pick. I’d sooner sit before
The fire and dream aloud than watch some movie
Made of smoke and mirrors. Photographs,
Those barefaced little fibbers, capture skin
But hardly give a hint of what’s within.

I’d show you glossy albums packed with stills
Or reels and reels of camera-conscious motion
Should any trace remain of who I was
And what it felt like out upon on the ocean.

No slideshow, then – nor sideshow, come to that,
When all you want is just the Main Event!
So ask me, as you do, what it was like
When I was five – or six or seven – or eight.

I’ll close my eyes and wait for anecdotes
To wander into view – old vinyl plucked
From deep within my whirring jukebox brain –
Epiphanies that sing again, their joys
Released and any sadness alchemised
By healing time and telling into mirth.

So at the death we journey towards birth.

 

Image result for boat on tropical beach

 

Image: Pinterest

Beached!

What follows was inspired by questions from my little granddaughter who, like millions of other children, is a big fan of Moana.

So you – sights set on far horizons – ask
for tales of years gone by when I was young
and just set sail myself. This shore you’ll leave
me standing on, it’s easy to forget,
is where I ended up when time and tide
grew tired of play and cast me like a doll.

Please don’t confuse salt streaks upon my cheeks
for tears, nor think me mindless when I let
fine sand fall soft and free between my fingers.
The voyage was long that brought me here and full
of stories, some you may not care to hear
and others I’m not ready yet to tell.

That fog far out at sea is what’s to come
for you, uncertain here. For me, it shrouds
the past – makes dim and distant days I’d love
to lay before you clear as here-and-now.

Just wait awhile. Let sunshine burn through haze
and scents upon the breeze bring memories
so sharp they entertain and teach by turns.
Let nature take her course and nothing’s hid
which hidden ebb and flow cannot reveal.
So ask once more and what was lost I’ll find –
foresee a future from a past restored to mind.

 

 

Image result for moana sets sail

 

Image: Everything Film – WordPress.com

 

Vault Finding #6

 

 

Run dry of artistic ideas,
I looked at old drafts through my tears.
He swam into view
And before long I knew
That a work-ethic bypasses fears.

The power of positive thought
When the race against time is so fraught
And the girl gets to choose
If you win or you lose –
A lesson this blogger’s been taught!

So no more lamenting the lack
Of lightbulb moments! It’s back
To good old hard work
And a glance through the murk
At castles of sand down the track.

 

Image result for castles made of sand jimi hendrix

 

Renga to Return

Here is the finished poem.

I am very grateful to those who have contributed their own words. Their sites, all of which I can recommend, are hyperlinked below.

10 lines are mine – the first and final tankas.

Eyes down for stray coins
Or lonesome tweets. So what, if
Dull skies lack twitter?

Where are the swifts blown? Summer’s
On hold till they’re back on course.

Of course, coins enrich,
as much as the swift’s sweet song,
while tweets leave minds dull.

Autumn, elevate my thoughts
on gentle, warming updrafts.                                     theceaselessreaderwrites

Random thoughts sail away
thinking of winter’s cold breath,
for a time to come.

Summer’s warmth will carry us
through the snow, and biting winds!                         Alex

or perhaps stardust–
sparks lingering, seasonless
and filled with wishes come true                                memadtwo

But now with winds low
Bathed in a silver moonlight
I dream of fortune.

Coins tossed in a sacred well
To protect the innocent.                                              Christine Valentor

The seasons return,
Untainted by human hand,
Playgrounds for fresh thoughts.

Look – old nests new tenanted –
And above, tweets and cartwheels.

 

 

Image result for swifts

 

 

Image: Oxford Mail

Moon Shot


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Every so often – well, once in a blue moon! – I start off a poem in the hope that others will join in and the whole thing turns out to be somehow greater than the sum of its parts …

Each contribution is a tanka, a Japanese stanza form comprising 5 lines with a suggested syllable count of 5-7-5  7-7. My opening tanka follows this pattern but, hey, what’s a syllable more or less between friends?

Please feel free to take the poem in any direction you want, provided there’s some sort of content link – however tenuous! – with the last two lines of the previous tanka.

To keep things tidy I’ll try and keep the poem updated with new contributions, although please check comments below for more recent additions. I’ll round things off when the time seems right and publish the finished poem, including hyperlinks to my fellow contributors’ sites.

The poem so far:

Eyes down for stray coins
Or lonesome tweets. So what, if
Dull skies lack twitter?

Where are the swifts blown? Summer’s
On hold till they’re back on course.

Of course, coins enrich,
as much as the swift’s sweet song,
while tweets leave minds dull.

Autumn, elevate my thoughts
on gentle, warming updrafts.                                     theceaselessreaderwrites

Random thoughts sail away
thinking of winter’s cold breath,
for a time to come.

Summer’s warmth will carry us
through the snow, and biting winds!                         Alex

or perhaps stardust–
sparks lingering, seasonless
and filled with wishes come true                                memadtwo

But now with winds low
Bathed in a silver moonlight
I dream of fortune.

Coins tossed in a sacred well
To protect the innocent.                                              Christine Valentor

Chain Reaction

I wrote this acrostic poem as a personal response to Wordsworth’s magnificent Lines Composed A Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey. Click on the link if you would like to read his poem.

R emember when you first stood here in wonder,
E arly days, when you climbed these very
T rees and chased down those same trails in wild abandon?
R emember how the memories would later flash unbidden
O n your inward eye – in the concrete jungle of cage city?
S oon you must return there – but this time as two in one
P erson – the youth you were and the man you’ve become
E ach holding the other’s hand, alone no more. And now your
C hildren, out of breath, slip warm hands into yours – open-eyed
T o see, all ears to hear your old tales of this brand new place.
I t could be their consolation for the dullnesses to come,
V ery much as it was and will be again for you. Throw a pebble in that pond.
E xpect the water to ripple long after you have departed.

 

Image result for hills around tintern abbey

 

Image: Holiday Cottage Wye Valley

Stimulus: WordPress Daily Prompt Retrospective