Can I come in? It’s not safe out there

…it never has been, I thought

I read the news, have seen the stats

hear the doppler rise and fall of sirens

bouncing off the city walls insistent

on untrammelled passage

scrambling wits of locked in drivers

blocked in lanes unsure quite where

the blue lights approach from

or head toward, what they are

and who they’re for

.

May I? For a moment, until it clears.

Could it ever, I wondered after

weeks, months, years have passed?

Some still remember how it felt

to bump accidentally into friends

or brew a fight with a stranger

or catch the light in a smile

(while sharing a smoke at the cool side-door)

agreeing to something a little more intimate

~

n.b. NaPoWriMo 2021 Day 6 Prompt, take a line from a story as a prompt, then write the poem, then

“Actually, one of them was supposed to come today, but because of the commotion going on out there they sent me instead.” 

From Samsa in Love by Haruki Murakami first published in The New Yorker, republished in Desire Vintage Classics / Penguin Random House (London, 2017).

~

CLP 06/04/2021

NaPoWriMo

On Water

Inundation flows

finds a level then settles

serene water fowl

~

n.b. Today a bitter northerly brought snow to the air and pushed the tide higher, so that the rivers spilled into low pasture, ducks, geese and swans followed.

~

CLP 05/04/2021

Herds

Based on ‘Words’ by Tadeusz Różewicz

(translated from the Polish by Bill Johnston)

Published by archipelago books (New York, 2007)

Herds

Herds are rounded up

treated as fodder

for innocent smiles

reduced to mere patties

sold by a clown

.

macerated with machined steel

compressed into packets

wrapped

conveniently for

shipping

.

distant forests

have been cleared

reduced to pasture

for consumers

who know not this work

.

soon

disposed of

through the human gut

‘though residual traces lie in wait

still living

.

converted blood

converted bone

converted to something

else we use up

converted from living

creatures to

foodstuff

~

n.b. NaPoWriMo 2021 Button with white background Day 5 take a poem and convert its shape and sound into something of your own, using the first letter of each line from the original to start your own poem. I have taken the shape of a poem and used it as a template for my own, but using my own first letters. Not the original prompt, but as with all prompts, a starting point, not a proscriptive set of rules, (for me…). Also the original poem is not out online for you to cross reference, as far as I can find, sorry.

NaPoWriMo

~

CLP (05/04/2021)

Day 46

Winds from the south-west are more amenable than most. They will make it easier for the swifts to get here. Swifts are the birds of summer for me. I look forward to their arrival in the next few days.

In the interim swallows and martins are becoming more common now. I watched two martins gathering mud from the creek this morning for nest building. As the tide runs out the River Glaven rapidly empties, exposing silty shoals for the house martins to collect mud for their inverted adobe nests under the eaves of the older houses of the village. Sadly, one still hears of some people in the village who knock down the mud nests with a broom in order to keep their house walls tidy.

A red kite circles the village. At one point it turns in a slow gliding movement with wings fully spread. It becomes backlit by the high sun thereby exposing the full beauty of its wing patterning. The bird becomes more than just a shadow in the sky. Each kite’s markings are unique within the natural range of the species and this moment of rare illumination gives a sense of this big raptor being an individual.

Yesterday afternoon I heard one cuckoo, but today, while sitting at the front porch, one calls from a tree just to my right and then another responds from down the lane, toward the church. After a couple of exchanges between these two, a third more distant cuckooing carries down the hill. Was there a fourth, fainter from further? This was the first time that I had heard more than a couple of these birds calling to each other. Their collective presence may not be good news for nest-builders locally, but as an addition to the orchestra of birdsongs here this spring, it is wonderful to hear them.

I stretch out on the wooden bench in the garden during the early afternoon to enjoy feeling the sun heat my bare chest. There is no reason to be anywhere else.

You are busy elsewhere. I am not. I look forward to speaking with you again when the time is right.

.

Christopher Perry

2nd May 2020

A Fine City

1FE9B905-EC7B-406A-8E1F-65928C4ECBC9.jpegNorwich thickened

through history,

enriched by wool traded with Holland,

masonry and church building,

glass angels stained into windows

watched over its

guilds of wealth and power.

 

Still populated today by towers,

shells of flint and stone, but

Medieval street structures struggle

to accommodate larger people

crowding into larger shops

whose plastic fronts do not mean elastic

just fake, false, shiny show.

 

CLP  06/05/2018

Season’s End

AC4C3DFC-BEF6-4504-9052-62AEFD0E0B26

At last wind from the sea is welcome.

Dust not leaf litter blows along gutters

Pollarded beech trees add leafy tints

to Frensham Road.

 

The movement of people is looser

in summer shorts, blue shirt tops,

although blue and white of Pompey scarves

is still worn despite cricket weather heat.

 

Excitable sons gambol alongside

long-striding men looking ahead

to August,

ignoring twelve mid-year weeks,

while grandads show gentle interest,

kindly coaxing little lads back

onto root-lifted pavements,

answering high-pitched questions about who might play

and why another favourite won’t

and this and that and, and, and…Grandpa?

 

A block-shaped car

is parked particularly precisely,

a wheeled chair is removed,

unfolded, locked into shape

and careful, strong-gripped manoevres

position a determined animated,

colourfully dressed fan,

safe into place, ready to roll

to sit in concreted shade,

where eyes sharpened,

alight to athletic movement

on mown patterns, across white lines

pitched between flag-marked corners,

watch keenly every detail of pre-match

preparation and ritual.

 

Contrast from the shadowing South Stand,

marks near black on brilliant green,

cuts so sharp that momentary

sight loss flickers in eyes squinting

to adjust as they chase

colours, given stronger tone

by Sun set high with a perfect seat,

but who has to drag herself reluctantly away out west

before the final whistle,

but only after pouring one last gulped pint

of welcome warmth

into sun-glassed faces.

 

Impenetrable bright sky, sets off the scene in blue hue not seen inland,

so blue that stars behind become anxious

they will not get on to play tonight.

 

Wide-winged gulls’ cries of the sea are drowned at birth,

over-whelmed, engulfed in waves of voices,

by microphoned, amplified announcements,

strong rhythms, clapping, chants and songs.

 

For some this is the last match.

No substitute will step in when they get pulled from the pitch.

Some will know their part near played up,

others will depart the game in shock,

their removal a surprise to all.

Unfair, unwarned and fiercely questioned,

why did they get The Manager’s call?

Yet another sign of unfathomable tactics.

Next season, last game in fresh May

their names will be on the lips

of the man who reads The List

of those who once so happily

trooped along to Fratton Park.

3B9615C9-A5FC-4134-BF5D-C6E2C81F03AC.jpeg

 

CLP  05/05/2018

Dedicated to Albert Perry “Grampy”