The Old Insomniac

Sleep1959

‘Sleep’ – WHB … pencil

The Old Insomniac

Old age has its delights, 
Its pensions and its freebies, 
But, oh, the restless nights
Give me the heeby jeebies. 

My pleasures are so various, 
From playing cards to skiing, 
Some dubious, some precarious, 
From lawn bowls to sight-seeing. 

But at night I still can’t sleep;
Perhaps I am too active? 
Instead of counting sheep
I need something more distractive. 

Maybe I’ll take up yoga, 
Or write another will, 
Decamp to Saratoga
– Or just take another pill! 

 

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Morning Glory

NewForestSunrise

‘Sunrise’ … Watercolour – WHB – 2014

MORNING  GLORY

Let me go
Let me run in the early dew
To brush against the laurel’s leaves
Tread the cool earth’s cushion
And linger in the dampness of the silent wood.

Before the cooing of the collared bird,
The bite of the new day’s busy-ness,
Its threats and promises,
Breaks into the stillness of my morning world
And ruptures this mood of mystery
Of thrill and almost menace,
Leaving me to face another day of reality
One more acceptance of the wrenching truth.

 

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Scarecrow Collection

Photographs from RHS Wisley, Surrey, UK. 2008 . . . WHB. ©

( Click on individual photographs to enlarge.)

Scarecrow Collection

Scarecrow Collection
Get in the queue;
For your entertainment
Learn something new.

Ladies and Gents
Fops and Flappers,
Molls and Pole Dancers
Call Girls and Slappers.

Broads and Dames
Wide Guys and Tramps,
Hippies and Harpies
Sirens and Vamps.

Divas and Dandies
Nimbies and Yuppies,
Minxes and moppets
Harpies and Hippies.

Beatniks and Broads
Belles and Babes,
Dandies and Fops
Jacks of all Trades.

Coquettes and Milk Maids
Nurses and Nannies,
Mods and Rockers
Goths and Grannies.

Scarecrow Collection
Roll up and view;
Won’t frighten the birds
But might scare you.

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The Back Door

BackDoor

Gallery Back Door – Photo: WHB 2019 ©

Disused since Golgotha
Defaced by ignorance
Scorned by the whole-some
Earning only derisive mirth
Unwelcome and Unwelcoming
This un-entrancing entrance
Inaccessible access
Faded to a depressing
Off-putting welcome
As resonant of hope as
Hades’ Tunnel of Love

Once undoubtedly
New and hopeful
Promising Portal
Someone’s pride become
The neighbourhood’s malediction
And the future’s disillusionment.

 

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The Vagrant

Berlin1930s

The Vagrant – WHB …  Pen & Sepia Wash

The Vagrant

Trapped in this
The world’s darkness
Imprisoned with the dead
Penned in this penitentiary
Another life I’ve led

A world unknown surrounds me
And never will unfold
For life exists without me
On such a slender thread I hold

Existence is my penance
My lot
The cross I wear
Nor health
Nor sickness please me
And who is there to care

Caged in perpetuity
Circumscribed by wire
Fettered by well meaning
Yet situation dire

Leave me here to rot
While no one waits my ending
No one guards my cradle
Situation pending

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Let’s Go A-cooarting – A Tykish Tale

Roseberry Topping

THINK TYKE

Risk assessment
Forward planning;
Think ahead
Where you’re ganning.

Trip the Dale
I fancy that.
Today’s assignment
Meet Chop Yat.

Ower the moors
Lyke Wake Walk;
Risks involved,
But let them gawp.

Along the runnel,
Beside the beck.
Could I care less?
What the ‘eck!

Meet up as
Our way we wend
Up Sparrow Lane
Yon far end.

Off to see my bobby dazzler,
Sweet lass o’ mine,
For now and aye
For thee I pine.

Out o’ t’way lad,
Let me pass
Ow do then,
Mi bonnie lass?

Nether nowt nor summat this,
‘Twere thee thissen wot seddit
But now, for real, what’s next is here,
Just lie back and let it.

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  • Tyke (dialect), an English dialect of Northern England spoken in the English county of Yorkshire  (Wikipedia)

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The Curious Case of the Cubist Clown

cubist clown

Photo: WHB – 2019

An unknown nocturne plays
without provenance 
Realised in a Narnian dream
to be read by hearsay
its undisclosed lineage
a mystery

White-garbed musician
guitar akimbo
Draped
casually at ease
on a cubist chair.

In melancholy mood
his arpeggioed chords
gently weeping
to me
the silent onlooker
the uninformed audience
for his deft and fretful
Brazilian saudade

Braque-ish cubes
predominate
Harlequin or Clown
checkered grand master
or imminent coulrophobia

And why white
Why the mask noir
the dense
Intense context
Where only silent space
listens
his rasguedo sonorous
in turn
soothing and somnolent
then
fraught with flamenco tension
or on fire with gypsy fervour

And the shadow figure
skulking
hurrying into the background
A sinister threat
escaping from
a mission accomplished 
or fleeing
bearing yet more grief
to some renegade de-briefing

The message missed
Significance lost
Theories advanced
Debated
Discarded

The clues must be there
too dense to unravel
I need a history

I think too
I see hidden faces
The game players’ cabal
linked by name
or by my imagination

In my desire to crack the code 
I stumble and abort my search
Defeated for now
But not for ever

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I would be delighted if any viewer of the above picture could provide clues to the artist and or to his/her subject.  I have had no direct access to the original painting (print?) but an intriguing story was woven around both the painting’s subject and its acquisition by the friend who allowed  me to photograph the above which is merely a copy of the original. 

 

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The  Banksy Sweeper

Tivvy-Banksy

Photo: WHB – 2018    ..  .©

The  Banksy Sweeper

 

The stencilled maid
Had visited
Alley cleanup due;
Her presence felt
The message there
For all who cared to view.

Graffiti or
A work of Art?
Few could say or tell.
Quickly done
Soon be gone
Litter made to sell.

Well-chosen site
A tasty sight
For all to stop and stare;
Banksy signed –
Who really knows?
But many now will care.

 

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This image (above) appeared overnight on the wall of an alley in Tiverton,
Mid-Devon, England, sometime in late 2018.

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The Art Of The Haphazard

hieroglyph wall

‘Wall Art’ . . . Photo: WHB – 2019

Fortuitous
Or with intent
These boxed blotches
This gifted graffiti 
Spoke silently to me

To the devil’s design graffiti
Or the angel’s delight
This inconsequential glitch
Mysterious manifestation
Held a satisfaction
In its irregular symmetry
In its beautiful ugliness
Its unsettling surety

What whim
What prompt
Had given it life
What hand
Guided its design
What art
Inspired its scattered
Sporadic spread

Don’t tell me of its
Inconsequential birth
Of unintended consequences
For there is design in the inadvertent
As there is hope in destitution
As life succeeds destruction

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ATHENA

Poseidon&Athena-WHB

POSEIDON & ATHENA:  WHB … Pen & Ink, 2019

ATHENA

 

She
Born of male
Warrior Goddess
Meant not to fail

Faced fear
Lord of the Sea
Her major prize
Attica’s key

Poseidon’s trident
Challenged by
Athena’s spear
The stakes so high

But olive tree
Of course
Beat salt spring
And horse

The prize
The city
The winner
No pity

Athens the realm 
Athena’s gain
Poseidon’s loss
To him the pain

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Athena and Poseidon vied for control of Athens and its surrounding territory, Attica. … Poseidon struck the rock with his trident and produced a salt spring or a horse.  

Athena brought forth an olive tree from the ground by the touch of her spear and she was proclaimed the victor.