THE TORCH I CARRY

‘The Depths Of The Sea’ (The Lure Of The Sirens) … Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones (1881

THE TORCH I CARRY

I carry a torch for the ocean
In her relentless swell I am held
My light will see me to the foreshore
Where vast wave and mild ripple meld.

For though my love’s unrequited
As I walk on the shore by the sea
The sight and the sound of her motion
Bring solace and hope back to me.

For when I watch her crescendo
Its beauty and force I admire
The sigh and the roar of her surges
Are those of a celestial choir.

My heart is in thrall to her passion
Her awesome breakers I ride
White horses call me ever forward
To meet the turn of the tide.

And when she is still as a millpond
My senses respond in repose
My life consummates in devotion
All yearning brought to a close.

Yes, the lure of the Siren defeats me
I am snared by her destructive song

I have given my all to her beauty
Now only to her I belong.

On Ageing Gloriously 

‘Old Age & Youth’ …  Pen and ink – WHB.  2017

ON AGEING GLORIOUSLY

Yes, I am getting older now; my prime has slipped away;
But I’m beating off the Harpies who want to bring doomsday.
But the benefits now brought about through all the new advances
Have brought about a change in me, at least they’ve upped my chances.

For, mine eyes have seen the glory never found since I was nine;
I ‘ve cast aside my spectacles reversing my decline.
I’ve got new eyes now, darling, and the cataracts have gone,
So despite my aged torso I will still keep staggering on.

And my new knees tell the story of my better prospects now;
I’m going to try the Great North Run if only they allow,
‘Cos I feel as though I’m twenty four and kicking down the door.
At least I’ll get a few years now before I need some more.

My metal hip has been replaced; I now have one in plastic;
It’s been a great success, although the experience was quite drastic.
I can hobble with the best of them and the stairs I cope with ease;
Yes, walking is a doddle now and life is just a breeze.

My hearing aid’s a bonus, I know what’s being said on telly.
My confidence I have regained, I’d rival Machiavelli;
The end still justifies the means; these life aids serve their purpose,
But instead of “Turn the volume up”, I’m wishing they were wordless.

My carpal tunnel surgery stopped my fingers feeling numb.
I’m twice the man I used to be, an artist I’ve become;
So now you see me in my prime reflecting on new marvels;
My hands are fully functional now; I have not lost my marbles.

My lumber corset gives me an efficient spinal brace.
My posture’s as it should be now, no longer a disgrace.
I stand upright and hold my place wherever I may be,
Just the occasional little blip, one you’ll hardly ever see.

The wig I found provided me with a new lease of life;
No longer bald and reticent – I’ve got a new-found wife.
I’m wond’ring how surprised she’ll be when we get into bed,
Perhaps she’ll want a payback when she finds she’s been misled?

They gave me my libido back with just a small blue pill;
Revived my passion and my lust – be that for good or ill.
I must say I’m enjoying those long lost thrills again,
No longer from the Tantric Arts, do I have to abstain.

They now give me a freebie both for Christmas and tv
Free bus and tube rides I can get, I’ve become a devotee
Of touring round my city in a bus as if in state
Suits me to be busy now at the age of eighty eight.

A pension I am grateful for, although it’s not enough,
I paid my dues for forty years, I did think that was tough;
Yes, the National Health helps me a lot, I get my medicine free,
And if I want a pick-me-up, my nurse is good to me.

My mouth has been replenished with a set of new white teeth;
I thought it best to have that done before they bought my wreath.
I look forward to my time in Heaven, but perhaps it’s just as well,
That I can still enjoy life now – in case I go to Hell.

LIFE’S JOURNEY

TODAY I AM TACKLING A POEM USING THE ‘OTTAVA RIMA’ POETIC FORM.

Originally an Italian stanza of eight 11-syllable lines, with a rhyme scheme of ABABABCC.  Sir Thomas Wyatt first introduced the form in English, and Lord Byron adapted it to a 10-syllable line for his mock-epic ‘Don Juan’.  W.B.Yeatsnotably used it for his poems “Among Scool Children’ and Sailing to Byzantium.’

[ Adapted from http://www.poetryfoundation.org ]

Sir John Everett Millais … ‘The Boyhood of Raleigh’ (1870)

OTTAVA RIMA

LIFE’S JOURNEY

I long to travel through my life again,

To have the same beginning but to change

The choices that have given me such pain

And turn them into something rich and strange;

Transform those scenes to sunshine from the rain,

The order of their happening rearrange.

My hope would be to bring new meaning to

My life-long search for love and joy with you.

W.H.Booth (aka Roland Keld)… 21/5/17

VINEGAR

‘Fish & Chip Shop’ … Pen and Wash – WHB 2017

VINEGAR

 Sometimes  

I feel like a priest

In a fish and chip queue

Quietly thinking

As the vinegar runs through

How nice it would beTo buy supper for two

By Roger McGough

 [ From:  Penguin Modern Poets 10 – Henri; McGough; Patten ]

This gentle compact verse catches, in just a few phrases, some of the emotion of a humdrum everyday activity and wistfully points to the suppressed yearnings of both a personal and a monastic life.

Roger McGough  (1937 – ) is an English poet, broadcaster, playwright, and children’s author . He presents the BBC Radio 4 programme ‘Poetry Please’.   He is one of the leading members of the group which have become known as The Liverpool Poets’.

Life Drawing Class

LIFE DRAWING CLASSES

Life drawing classes in Chelsea
The chance of a lifetime fulfilled
A chance to perfect my technique
I should’ve been delighted and thrilled.

But it wasn’t quite like that in practice;
Whilst I became more and more zealous
I found to my utter dismay
My fiancé grew terribly jealous.

So I gave up these classes to please her,
My art took a secondary place
To a contented future with landscapes.
Yes, I gave in to her whims – just in case.

So, I never will be a Paul Rubens,
And Lucien Freud’s not for me.
I timidly gave in to persuasion,
All governed by wifely decree.

.   Sketches by – WHB  ©

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.

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) 

CRICKET, Glorious Cricket

‘When Bat Meets Ball’ … WHB – April 2017

CRICKET, Glorious Cricket

In appreciation of cricket commentaries and commentators

If FOOTBALL is ‘THE BEAUTIFUL GAME’
Then I would have to say,
CRICKET is ‘THE GLORIOUS GAME’,
It betters it all the way.

Both have eleven in their team,
Both games are played with balls,
But there the similarity ends,
They’re not the same at all.

Although it is a game to watch
Cricket’s still a hit;
When listening to the radio
And those pundits spice it up a bit.

Yes, commentators do indulge,
Their language can sound silly,
For cricket lends itself to jest …
“The bowlers Holding, the batsman’s Willey”.

The comma after Holding,
That is the crucial bit.
Without it we would all be –
Well – Not something we permit.

Who ever heard a football pundit
Deliver such a joke?
Their chat is loud and full of ‘Gooooooal!”
Enough to cause a stroke.

As I listen to my radio,
When reporters break the rules,
In cricket commentaries
They do not talk like fools.

“He chanced his arm and it came off”
That is another beauty;
“The captain’s relieved himself at the Pavilion End”
There’s another, just a little fruity.

“Neil Harvey, he is fielding slip,
Waiting for a tickle, legs wide apart”,
Compared with such perceptive comments
Football has no counterpart.

“An interesting morning, full of interest”.
“Hutton ill … sorry, 111″
There’s two beauties, made to measure,
More like that and I’m in heaven.

So there you have it,
It’s my viewpoint.
These cricket commentators
May the gods anoint.

( With my apologies for some of my forced rhymes and unmetrical meters! )