On Hope v

light across hard ground

miles devoured with smiles

alive to what’s new

~

CLP 21/07/2021

On Silence

when all talk has stopped

see our love’s patient progress

quiet reflection

~

CLP 08/07/2021

On the other side

over many bridges

is grass that’s always greener

who would not go there?

~

CLP 02/07/2021

Dream #22

Which bed is this? I wake unsure

no standard hotel shape to reassure

my musty head is somewhere secure

familiar start to a new day

with an unfamiliar face

who has just pulled close the door

behind her I hold a memory

of shapes and words recalled too late

that was not her name

she was kind enough

not to complain

we both had our reasons

not quite the same

as my dear friend once explained

everyone has their own

Love story

~

CLP 19/06/2021

Dream #21

heavy rain’s half-time shuffle on the roof

mixes with the jazz ostinato beat

of towering street lamps flicking by

wheels slip over pools along the carriageway

sheets of spray from trucks misting view

red rear lights, pairs of dazzling white

approach, recede

dashboard indicators green

there’s a song replaying on the radio

today becomes yesterday

00:00

as soon as tomorrow becomes now

vehicles stretch apart, further apart, disappear

then this is the last one tracing the road

deep into the city’s orange glow

pointless waiting at crossroads for change

illuminated arrows pointing home

weighed down by the return of gravity

I step through the door

the post on the hall floor

dates how long I’ve been away

a web loose-hanging at the window

holds small black silk bundles

where the spider’s been making hay

~

CLP 18/06/2021

Time #2

robin, sparrow, pigeon

motorway, next door’s children

blue sky, white walls, dawn bright

silver birch shine, heat of sheet

sourness of sweat, weight of limb

heavy head, weary heart

click of clock, click of clock

click of clock, laughing gull

~

CLP 16/06/2021

Time #1

when it’s been really hot

like today, close to the mid-point of June

eventually the blue begins to thin

as if mixed with a few drops of white spirit

.

the air moves a little faster

adding cool to shade

under the solitary oak

crowning the rise

.

arrhythmic sounds of a distant road backwash

strangely vigorous mid-afternoon songs of blackbirds

who call as if expecting rain

but it won’t, not yet

.

there is no accumulation of clouds

over the Blackdown Hills

just the wind seasoned by a dash of brine

chilled through months of swirling winter tides

.

provoked, other birds respond, goldfinches

keening for respite from potential drought

trying to sweet -talk moisture from the sky

to fill the hard-set hoof prints and tyre-track hollows

.

to soften the soil and freshen pasture

to fill the brook now wearing a skin

that barely covers its old bones

its smoothed stones lie dry, matted green

.

heading west into the breeze

every feather extended to the full

a buzzard floats along the hedge

then shifts its path toward the wood

.

I sit against the towering trunk

spine aligned to its hard rutted bark

listen to the plaintive songs

wonder at how fast my sixty years have gone

Dream #17

white finger stretching south

beyond the headland

scratching open the sky

I rigidly follow the pilot

curled tight in a too small seat

the aircraft casting a fleeting mark

a dark crucifix on the rising sea

a pulse passing through the Channel

heaven howling echoes

in the chambers of my heart

I know not where I am going

nor why I am gone

~

CLP 12/06/2021

Dream #12

England, June

so hot, seek shelter

curtained sleep

buzzards call above canal

blue flash of kingfisher

martins and swallows streak across hedgerows

dandelion clocks stop at full o’clock

pollen clouds float on puffs of tired air

perfect circles form where fish kiss

the mirrored surface

~

CLP 06/06/2021

Dream #4

Bonjour madame

Monsieur, bonjour

Je voudrais un pain au raisin et un pain au chocolat, si vous plait

D’accord. À boire, monsieur?

Ah, mais oui! Une tea, merci.

Merci, monsieur.

Et un vers d’eau, aussi?

Sorry, mate, would you speak in English? I can’t take your accent anymore. Thanks for trying.

~

n.b. All errors are deliberate…it’s supposed to be light-hearted. I don’t want Académie Française on my case. Thank you to the Foreign Languages Editor, Woody for support with Dream #4.

CLP 31/05/2021