Perhaps it is the framing of the view,
the sharp clean edges of the window,
that reframes a point as art.
Curved tufts of uncut grass fringe
the greenish pond. This morning black
but heat and sun have catalysed
some underworld reaction –
all has thickened. Palette leaves,
like solar panels, tilt themselves up
and proud of the surface, their stalks
like the slender heels of wide green shoes
while there, nesting, a dinosaur egg, a bud.
Three years after digging, filling, planting,
three years of waiting, right now right there,
huge as an upturned pike’s mouth, basking in sun
unconcerned with the water snails, the scum,
the amniotic soup in which it sits.
This is no Monet lily. Soon it will roar.
National Writing Day, 21st June 2017
of Edward Thomas who died on this day, 1917
Sitting in the Adlestrop bus shelter
the sky is cloudless, the sun warm.
It could almost be late June
but for the trees just coming into green,
white blossom falling in the breeze
that raises ghosts of dust from the road.
There are cars parked along grassy verges
and wordless birds clamour from hidden places.
Somewhere a horse signals its whinny.
A clouded yellow butterfly tints the air.
Fourteen Harleys rumble through the village;
bikers and hikers going on their ways.
The train, even on this Sunday, toots
once in the distance, nowhere near this sign –
the sign you noticed, noted down, caught.
And not a moment’s silence is observed
by nature, the magnolia’s heavy petals
dropping on the shining road.
from #NaPoWriMo @poetryschool Prompt 9
My mother, Brenda, is never Brenda
but Debbie-Bren, or Debbrenda.
Her younger sister is rarely Deborah;
she answers to Ellie-Debs and Edna.
My mother knows my aunt works harder,
but hates being mistaken by her father.
My cousin is hardly ever Eleanor:
Debbren-Ellie or Ed-Eleanor;
and, though I’m christened Alexandra,
I’m El-Alex and Brendebsedna.
My cousin says that I’m still the golden child
as we drink prosecco together.
We laugh, knowing too, that the golden ghost
in our grandad’s mind is Edna –
his wife, their mother, and our grandma.
None of us minds being Edna.
from #NaPoWriMo @poetryschool Prompt 3
This year I shall try to live with the seasons.
The earth lives effortlessly, knows its urges,
its limitations. The earth listens to itself,
its needs. It listens, heeds a patient voice;
Not yet, or Wait and see, as a grown-up
counsels a child, or inner child, or fool.
To trust in an unheard rhythm, while laid inert
by stones in pockets or slow, retreating sap,
is an act of faith. Yet slow green shoots come
even to the faithless; the stone may be moved
by heat beneath; colonies mobilise, synchronise.
Energy is constant: passed from heat, to movement,
to the brain. So fingers move, then make,
waking to their Spring, after long dark.
from #NaPoWriMo @poetryschool Prompt 1
begin afresh, afresh, afresh
How easy nature makes art look! Last week
driving past bracken, scratched and black,
broomstick bundles matched the tarmac,
dirt-wet and grey, devoured under wheel.
Today a haze of green hangs on hedges,
pervading all peripheries of sight
with faintest shade and sheerest hint of leaf
that tints the view and tilts the temper
upwards from the road, into the air
Take your pencils; adorn
that faded sketch you’ve worn all winter.
Larkin was right, something is being said.
In Italy the last, lazy drops of wine
should fall into the wine glass of another;
sharing the same table, dipping bread together,
making Galileo bubbles of balsamic vinegar
in slow, yellow olive oil. Whoever
lifts the carafe becomes the giver,
enacts the benefaction, drips the nectar,
like tiny beads of hope from simple water.
Frying cheap sausages I should be grilling
filling the cold-lit kitchen with warm stink
while outside the day sputters and fails
I think of birthday candles refusing to light
indoor fireworks, oxymoronic, climaxless
dull, damp – a world run out of effort
I fantasise about lightning, thunder
chasing its wonderful scrawl across sky
shaking us out of our ruminating sit-in
I ask some god, where did you hide the snow?
Momentary magic, leprechaun gold, yes,
but joy kicks in with every tongue-tipped crystal!
Today the weather is a cheap sausage
no fear no thrill, forgettable, cannot be arsed.
Grease spots, like rain, thicken each surface.