TIME OUT

Time out for Reynard.
He’ll just wait.
Eyeing up those chickens
To seal their fate

Time out, but wary,
On the qui vive.
Fodder for his family
Just about to thieve.

Time out for him now,
Night’s work done.
Taking a siesta
In the sun.

Say what you will, but
The urban fox,
Is part of Nature’s spectrum,
Not unorthodox.

Photographs taken in a Surrey garden … WHB: 2015-17

The Eagle’ … Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Head of a Bald Eagle … Pen & Ink – WHB : May 2017

The Eagle

He clasps the crag with crooked hands;

Close to the sun in lonely lands,

Ring’d with the azure world, he stands.

The wrinkled sea beneath him crawls;

He watches from his mountain walls,

And like a thunderbolt he falls.

BY  Alfred, Lord Tennyson

A poem, by Alfred Lord Tennyson, with great dynamism.  Short but so effectively expressed.   The adjectives are just right.  The words, metre, alliteration and rhymes work together to convey the essence of the eagle’s power and majesty.

MONEY – Thoughts for a Chancellor

The UK Chancellor of the Exchequer has just pronounced on the future of the country in times when the majority of the population find themselves in considerably strained financial circumstances . Perhaps a few thoughts occasioned by a reading which I quote from from: ‘The Funny Side – 101 Humorous Poems’ – edited with an introduction by Wendy Cope, will strike a chord with many of us . . .

It is from the American poet, Richard Willard Armour (July 15, 1906 – February 28, 1989)

That money talks

I won’t deny.

I heard it once,

It said, “Goodbye”.

Richard Armour also once wrote: . . . “Politics, it seems to me, for years, or all too long, has been concerned with right or left instead of right or wrong.

Love Autumn – Hate Novenmer

I Love the Autumn but hate November

I Love the Autumn but hate November.

Remember, remember the 11th November –

Gunfire. no reason, no Plot.

The waste of young lives sent forward and shot.

The fireworks and bonfires just serve to remind me

Of bombs and incendiaries, of the carnage to see,

Of the fear and the doubts, but the knowledge of duty

To do what they must to perpetuate beauty.

The beauty of freedom, of lives without limits,

Not theirs for the taking, nor lasting but minutes,

But those back at home who are counting on honour

To see the boys through, until they’re a goner.

Some came home broken, wounded and battered,

Wondering if everything was worth it or mattered.

Too quickly their country forgot what they did,

No support for de-briefing, no reward, God forbid!

They did it for duty, for love of their country,

For the King (or the Queen) to put it quite bluntly,

For a future of peace, tranquillity and love,

But the future of them was in heaven above.

Their light was snuffed out on the earth down below

But their  life we shall honour as the stars above glow

They shall live in our hearts and our minds here on earth

As November comes round to provide a new birth.

I don’t hate November; I hate that it hurts me.

They gave up their lives for our freedom you see,

But my hurt is as nothing compared to their war.

My heart’s full of love, for the young men, who gave all.

This poem was composed by, and published with the permission of, Caroline Miller-Tate, whilst contemplating the significance of our memories engendered during this year’s Remembrance weekend period . . . “At the going down of the sun, and in the morning, we will remember them”

EBB TIDE

‘Ebb Tide’ … WHB – 2017

EBB TIDE

The tide turns

As for me it wanes
I feel your presence

There
Where
For you
It begins
Its encroachment
Knowing you will be there
To welcome it’s  return
To follow its path
Waiting
Watching
Until bite by bite
Ripple by ripple
It will wash your words
Across oceans
To my shore

Here
Where
My foot printed
Passage
Replicates your own
And signs itself
With love

But in turn
That will come
For you
Too
And my own shells
Of words
Will flow
And flood
Where your bare feet

Choose to follow

There is a beautiful song, composed by the American songwriter, Carl Sigman, called ‘EBB TIDE’.  I came across this beautiful and moving rendering of it by my favourite male voice a capella choir, The Westminster Chorus,.  i have brought these to your attention in a previous blog.   please do listen to their version of ‘Ebb Tide’ at this YouTube link …Click here to watch and listen.

Bombs Away

Retro Advert seen in a charity shop in Devon, UK … Photo – WHB 2016

Bombs Away . . . Keeping our boys Regular

A provocative
narrative
Re a sanative
laxative.

As an ex-airman I can say

Advertising ‘Bombs Away’

Should not be a cause of laughter

I have heard of nothing dafter.

I consider it a waste,

Certainly leaves a nasty taste.

This advert I would call a fail,

In fact it is beyond the pale.

So airmen of the world unite,

Stop them talking utter tripe.

Dropping Bombs is not a joke,

Save it for that Hitler bloke.

He’s the one deserves derision,

Not our brave boys on a mission.

Nothing regular about a war,

Always ends with blood and gore.

So don’t make fun of our boys in blue,

Or the next one missing could be you.

Resignation – A QUATERN

My attempt at  … A QUATERN

Definition … 

A Quatern is a sixteen line French form composed of four quatrains. It is similar to the Kyrielle and the Retourne. It has a refrain that is in a different place in each quatrain. The first line of stanza one is the second line of stanza two, third line of stanza three, and fourth line of stanza four. A quatern has four stresses per line. It does not have to be iambic or follow a set rhyme scheme. 

”Ocean Waves’ … Pen & Wash – WHB . May 2017

In Resignation’

I wish the tide to swallow me whole
As though a thief had from me stole
My life, but then in guilt forgone
His gains, paused, and then moved on.

I’ve had enough of body and soul
I wish the tide to swallow me whole
For now I see, I realise,
Life is too short to compromise.

Decisions hurt but must be made,
And so, before my debts are paid
I wish the tide to swallow me whole;
I’m ready now, I’ve  lost  control.

No longer can I bear the pain,
Resigned to never feel again,
Towards the waves I edge my stroll
I wish the tide to swallow me whole.

The Seashore’ … Pen &  Wash – Photoshopped  with edge effect … WHB – April 2017

PUSHING UP THE DAISIES

‘Pushing Up The Daisies’ … WHB – Pen & Wash. May 2017

Where are they now
Gerard and the Craig twins
Doggy Dan  and Luggy Cooper 
the Lawrences
Jocky Boyes and Spuggie Hood,
each with a memory attached
their image for me
still young
never ageing?

Could be still out there
my age
and I’m still here,
not waiting
but wanting
wishing
hoping
reliving memories
replaying youth,
recalling lads
lasses too
part of my past
history of my story,
liked,
loved,
and lusted after,
feared
and fretted over,
not given a thought
until now
but they could still be here,
there,
somewhere,
not pushing up the daisies.
Not yet.

Will some of them,
wherever,
still be sleeping
with my dreams?
Others,
as I,
lying sleepless,
thinking these same thoughts,
because
we do have the same history,
minds similarly imprinted,
memories matched
attuned
remembering.

Racing out in the morning
breathless with anticipation
rushing to share our days,
to build the same dams
catch the same minnows
in the same jam jars
leap the same becks
explore the same tunnels
climb the same trees
rocks
hills
fight the same mock battles.
All
forging our own
memories.

And Jim
Jim, the joker,
jumped off Highcliff Nab
while I took his photo,
fell
all of six feet
soft landed
on the turf ledge.
No dying fall,

not kicking up the daisies.

Not then,
no, he wasn’t then,
he is now.
Long lost
professor of religions
respected author
from beck side cottage,
but now
no thanks to weed and wine
buried deep
in my Memory Lane.
Now pushing up the daisies.

But those of us who remain
short time to run
just enough to practise
treading the ceremonial turf
from below
to push up the daisies.

While now,
above ground
we tread warily
lest their spades
are not ready
when our own time comes
to push up the daisies.

THE SUBSERVIENT MOON

THE SUBSERVIENT MOON

Each day
The rising sun
chases the moon away
To hide its limpid light
From the brightness of day.
Cowed in its lair
Within the darkness
Of its sylvan hideaway,
Preferring to lie
With the leaves
And squirrels
And, as Clytie,
Watch the skies,
Following Helios’s chariot,
Gazing as he
Arcs the heavens,
Jealous of his power,
Fearful of his revenge
Were she ever to show her face
In his presence.
Ever allowing her nemesis
To hold sway
Over the new day,
Commanding the attention of the world
And continuing his journey;
The dominant presence
In the cerulean sky.

When is the moon not a moon? 
… When it’s the sun in a circular mirror. 

The three photographs are of a reflection in a window of daylight, itself reflected in a circular mirror and back onto the glass of the window.
All photographs by me – March 2017 … Roland (WHB) 

To Absent Friends

TO ABSENT FRIENDS

As the distended rollers break
Upon that ocean shore
I think of all the hearts that beat
But now will beat no more.

Friends who were once so close to me
Whose lives with me were one
Who now have lost their lust for life
Lost it, and have gone.

Sadness is no gift to sorrow
But memories linger on
It’s when I watch the ocean’s waves
It’s them I think upon.

Why this should be I do not know
For me there’s no release
It is the breathing of the waves
Confirms our own will cease.

Perhaps it is their constancy,
Their never ending thrust
Confirms our own ephemeral lives
Will end soon, as they must.